The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove has one of the first in-depth interviews with New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet after his tumultuous ascension following Jill Abramson’s firing. The most interesting tidbit comes at the end of the interview, when Baquet blithely acknowledges that TMZ has gained a major foothold as an outlet that publishes explosive journalism:
Still, for all its excellence, even Baquet is hard-pressed to name a recent Times story that has equaled the explosive impact on the popular culture of the gossip website TMZ’s release of the Ray Rice elevator video. For the past week, the images of the Baltimore Ravens running back cold-cocking his now-wife, Janay Palmer, have dominated a spirited national debate from kitchen tables to the White House about the National Football League and spousal abuse.
“You’re not going to hear any dis of TMZ’s Ray Rice video from me,” Baquet says. “I’d like to know how they got it.” Baquet notes, however, that a great deal of public conversation was also sparked by Times reporter Walt Bogdanich’s stunning investigation last April of how local law enforcement authorities dropped the ball on a rape allegation against Florida State University Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. “But I ain’t knocking the fact that TMZ had a great scoop,” Baquet says. “I wish I had it.”