Follow-up to the Rosenberg, Cleveland Orchestra, Plain Dealer case
Please excuse the delay in posting, cherished cyberites. Today was moving day here at the Sun, when a lot of us had to change desks, relocating to another spot on the newsroom floor (cynics may call this a case of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, but, hey, we'll have none of that downer talk here today).
Amid the distraction -- how could I have ever accumulated so many things in 10 years here? -- I just never had a chance to get all blog-y. But I did want to mention Monday night's Twitter-chat I had with novelist and former Cleveland Plain Dealer book editor Janice Harayda and law professor Peter Friedman about the much-debated trial involving the Plain Dealer's former, longtime classical music critic Don Rosenberg. They had great points to make, which sparked more reactions from the Twitterati. If you've got a Twitter account, do a search for the hashtag #DonR and you can read all the comments. Thanks to all of you who chimed in.
Today, my colleague Anne Midgette of the Washington Post added a great point to the discussion, noting that
the orchestra's top guy had posted a comment on my blog back when the Rosenberg affair broke open, denying any contact with the Plain Dealer, but the trial revealed that the orchestra had actively sought to "defend the interest of the orchestra and its conductor" and was "entitled to ask for fair coverage from the newspaper."
I really don't think anyone believes that the orchestra management campaigned for Rosenberg's removal. And I really don't believe that's what a classy orchestra does. Or that a classy newspaper gives in to that pressure. But I've already said enough about that.
In hindsight, as I've also often said, I wish another way out had been found. The legendary Post music critic Paul Hume -- he was a mentor to me and Don Rosenberg -- once told me that he reached a point where he was so routinely disappointed with National Symphony music director Howard Mitchell and so tired of writing the same negative reviews that he asked his editor to find another reviewer for Mitchell's concerts. Maybe if Rosenberg had reached the same sort of thinking before the Cleveland Orchestra pounced, he could have kept his old job. Maybe not.
Anyway, this was an unfortunate case from every angle. I still admire the strength of Rosenberg's convictions, though, and I wish him well.