Alessandra Stanley, the controversial TV critic at The New York Times, is leaving the TV beat after covering it for the past dozen years, the paper has announced.
The Times’ executive editor, Dean Baquet, has written, in a memo, “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.”
Baquet did not mention any of the controversy that sometimes surrounded Stanley.
For example, back in 2009 Clark Hoyt, then The Times’ public editor, began one of his columns: “The Times published an especially embarrassing correction on July 22, fixing seven errors in a single article — an appraisal of Walter Cronkite.” That appraisal was written by Stanley. How could a story with so many mistakes have been published? Writes Hoyt, “The short answer is that a television critic with a history of errors wrote hastily and failed to double-check her work, and editors who should have been vigilant were not.”
Most recently, last September Margaret Lyons of New York magazine’s Vulture blog was one of many who protested a piece Stanley wrote about Shonda Rhimes. Lyons said “New York Times television critic Alessandra Stanley has a long history of being wrong about a great many things. But her newest article, an ostensible paean to Shonda Rhimes, is inaccurate, tone-deaf, muddled, and racist.”