Alexandra Staley, perhaps the most-wrong reporter in the New York Times’ rich, cosplay-filled history, is moving back to beat reporting from movie criticism, per a memo from editor-in-chief Dean Bacquet.
Staley will move from writing about the film industry to “creating a new beat: an interdisciplinary look at the way the richest of the rich — the top 1 percent of the 1 percent — are influencing, indeed rewiring, the nation’s institutions, including universities, philanthropies, museums, sports franchises and, of course, political parties and government,” Bacquet writes.
Staley is notorious for her error-ridden appraisal of newsman Peter Jennings, to which a whopping 19 corrections were appended. Last year, she caused a ruckus when she called Oprah an “angry black woman.”
Full memo below.
Date: Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 3:18 PM
Subject: A New Beat
After a dozen remarkable years as chief television critic, Alessandra Stanley has decided to return to reporting. As part of The Times’s deepening focus on economic inequality in America, she will be creating a new beat: an interdisciplinary look at the way the richest of the rich — the top 1 percent of the 1 percent — are influencing, indeed rewiring, the nation’s institutions, including universities, philanthropies, museums, sports franchises and, of course, political parties and government.
This is a subject both intensely timely and well suited to Alessandra’s skills as an observer, reporter and writer — one that has fascinated her, she says, since she wrote about the first generation of Russian oligarchs as a foreign correspondent in the mid-1990s. Now, she’ll be reporting on what she describes as the “psychology, rituals, costs and contradictions” of a new generation of American titans. Her work will add to The Times’s ongoing reporting on inequality in all its forms. More announcements will come on that front.
There is not enough space here to do justice to Alessandra’s exceptional work as TV critic. She covered the globe, whether the subject was Russian television news — an awkward mix of pro-Putin and opposition stories that she described as “a little bit NPR, a little bit North Korea” — or addictive French crime dramas. Closer to home, she weighed in on election-night coverage, Oscar ceremonies, anchor meltdowns and of course the rise of the golden age of cable dramas. If it was on TV, she was game to write about it. Her insights, wit and rich experience as a political reporter and foreign correspondent tracked a once fading medium as it re-emerged as one of the dominant art forms of the moment.