Friday, April 17, 2015

How "Times" have changed

Isn't amazing how times or should I say "The Times" have changed. In January of 1954 The New York Times reported on the marriage of New York Yankee great Joe DiMaggio's marriage to starlet Marilyn Monroe.  Times picture Editor John Randolph randomly picked the picture you see here to go with the story.
Shortly after this picture was printed poor Randolph was fired as Picture Editor. Maybe not fired but he was delicately removed from his role and reassigned.  Randolph was a respected member of the staff but this open mouthed photo was just too "sexy" for the Times in 1954.
“The next morning, John Randolph was no less surprised than dozens of other Timesmen to hear that the picture in The Times had caused a ‘great flap’ in the publisher’s office, and that Randolph was no longer The Times’s picture editor. Randolph at first could not believe it. He could not believe, nor could other Timesmen, that Miss Monroe’s open-mouth French kiss would so offend the sensitivities of Arthur Hays Sulzberger, or Iphigene Sulzberger, or whoever may have registered an objection in the publisher’s office.”
Now this story does have a happy ending.  Randolph was assured by editor Turner Catledge that even though he was being moved to the copy desk his salary would not go down. Two years later Randolph was reassigned to the role of a lifetime. The Times' "Wood, Field, and Stream" columnist was leaving the Times and Randolph (a lover of the outdoors) was offered the job.  Randolph loved the job and his readers loved him. So in the end this "risque" picture that we would not even think twice about in 2015 helped Randolph get demoted to the position of a lifetime. But isn't amazing how our times and "The Times" have changed.  I don't need to describe the images you see on the news, in news magazines, and in newspapers today and to think, this picture of Monroe kissing her husband was simply too sexy for readers in 1954.  Wow, how times have changed.

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