Vanity Fair has an article on how the New York Times' Opinion pages is causing "embarrassment" to their newsroom, even though their own shoddy reportage and haughty attitude doesn't embarrass them at all. They want to seem hip and with it, but they want to play it safe. They want to be on the cutting edge, but they do not want to court controversy, expect they do, expect they want the politically correct kind version of it.
They want to see their backsides on two chairs.
To be controversial means you are an outsider. When you are the Establishment, you are not an outsider. The Times wants the image of being an outside, while being an Establishment paper.
They hired and then fired Quinn Norton in a day because they wanted a safe version of her, which cannot exist. She was controversial, but that was because she had a pulse with an underground, which was her area of specialty...which made her an outsider. Wired noticed it, as did I.
The Times didn't vet her, and her politically incorrect tweets made the Times panic and fire her. They didn't have her back. She was their window-dressing, meaning if people made a fuss about their choice, she had to go.
If they had hired her to find and interpret truths and reality, they would have stuck by her, and explained that, yes, as a muck-raker, you have to get down and dirty to find those hidden truths.
They didn't, and that's all you need to know.
Once upon a time, opinions were supposed to be provoking, and not acceptable, but these days, they must be acceptable, and not provoking. The Times should get rid of the Opinion pages entirely, as they do not want to offend anyone, and opinions, by definition, will offend somebody.
They do not get what it is that they are supposed to do -- be young and brash in a familiar and innocuous way is not actually an option.
It's hedging your bets, and that's not journalism.