Today, the New Orleans Times-Picayune profiles Scott Burgess, the American ex-pat blogger who yesterday took credit for a second scalp at the Guardian in the Dilpazier Aslam story.
Burgess claims to have two sources that say Albert Scardino, the Guardian’s executive editor who has left the paper “to pursue a variety of news and entertainment projects,” actually resigned over the hiring of Aslam.
According to the Guardian report, Scardino was responsible for “training and career development” at the paper. Harry’s Place, the other blog heavily involved in the story, reported that Scardino had been responsible for hiring Aslam and had suggested that Aslam write the “sassy” comment piece that started the whole controversy.
According to the Times, however, the Guardian was “at pains to point out that the departure was entirely unconnected with the Aslam affair.”
… Guardian sources today were stressing that while Mr Scardino “was very loosely responsible” for recruitment issues, he had not interviewed Mr Aslam and had not involved “in any way” in the decision to grant him a place on the diversity scheme.
If the issues truly turn out to be somehow related, this is a much more significant development than Aslam’s initial dismissal. This would be the first senior UK journalist to feel the wrath of the blogosphere. Scardino, an American, is no mere trainee hack. He’s a Pulizer Prize winner (Editorial Writing, 1984) whose CV includes a stint with the New York Times and as press officer for former New York mayor David Dinkins. Oh, and he happens to be married to Dame Marjorie Morris Scardino, the CEO of Financial Times publishers Pearson and one of the most powerful women in the world (or at least the the media).
Update: Lest conservative bloggers’s triumphalism drowns out any alternaive views on this, you should go read Yusef Smith’s take on the false and libellous reporting in the blogosphere on this matter. At the Sharpener, he also provides an alternative view of the story, which he says has been tainted by prejudice, inaccuracy and hypocrisy.