So in our recent Bloggingheads, Conor Friedersdorf and I talked about my claim that journalists and pundits, once they reach a particular career rung, seem to enjoy life-long tenure that makes them totally unaccountable for mistakes. Conor was singularly unimpressed with this line of reasoning. Well, look at his colleague at the Atlantic, David Frum, and his heartless, destructive, and absurd allegations of photo fraud against the New York Times and a decorated photo journalist. He slandered the photographer, heaped disrespect on the grief stricken, traumatized Palestinians in the photos, and then issued a classic weaselly non-apology. All while occupying a professional role that is supposed to place a premium on journalistic responsibility and care in public pronouncements.
So: will there be professional consequences for Frum? If not, why not? What would it take for an imperial messenger like Frum to face formal, professional censure from his employer?