Working Paper No. 11-08:
Gray Lady Bowdler: The Continuing Saga of the Crimson Spot

Author(s):

Ross Davies

Date Posted: February 2011

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Abstract:

This is a short, true story about the Green Bag versus the New York Times, two periodicals doing their best according to their respective lights to serve their respective readerships. The story is told for the most part through recent email correspondence between, on one side, a variety of Times editors and, on the other side, one Green Bag editor. Reasonable minds might differ about the relative merits of the positions taken and the practices followed by the two periodicals and their spokespeople, but no reasonable person could deny the entertainment value of some of their exchanges. Those exchanges are reproduced in chronological order, starting on the next page. But first, a small dose of background . . .