NYT Editing Slashback: ‘Richard Simmons Is President’ Edition

From our Get Me Rewrite! desk

As New York Times public editor Liz Spayd noted last month, the paper’s “editing architecture”has traditionally employed multiple layers of editors, with most stories blue-penciled by three editors, “with up to six or more if the article is headed for home page prominence or A1.”

But, Spayd wrote, “soon this conveyor will be replaced by a bespoke editing system built primarily around digital.”

Hey – we got your bespoke right here.

From Sopan Deb’s piece in yesterday’s Times about Dan Taberski’s Missing Richard Simmons podcast, “which is currently the most downloaded podcast on iTunes.”

The back story: On Feb. 15, 2014, Mr. Simmons didn’t show up to teach his class at his gym, Slimmons, in Beverly Hills, Calif. He stopped answering emails or phone calls. He no longer sprinted out of his home to greet tour buses, delighting onlookers with his glittery costumes. After an article in The Daily News suggested last year that Mr. Simmons might not have control over his life, the mystery took such hold in pop culture that even Donald J. Trump weighed in from the campaign trail, promising to liberate Mr. Simmons if he became president.


Memo to Times bespoke editor: That should be this.

[E]ven Donald J. Trump weighed in from the campaign trail, promising – if he became president –  to liberate Mr. Simmons.

C’mon, Timesniks. This is Editing 101. You can’t even handle that anymore?

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