I like Michael Bennet a lot: his position is that he pushes for policies where he can see a path to getting 60 votes in the senate. By all accounts Doug Bennet was a great president of Wesleyan. But James Bennet—both at the Atlantic and at the New York Times—appears, by all accounts, to have been the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong job, and to have lacked the self-awareness to understand that:
Ben Terris: Can the Bennet brothers Save the Establishment? https://github.com/braddelong/public-files/blob/master/readings/article-terris-james-bennet.pdf: 'In early 2014... Caitlin Flanagan... the state of fraternities in America.... The article included the story of a female student who was raped at a Wesleyan University party, and the ugly court battle that followed---during which the college tried to defend itself against a lawsuit by blaming the woman for putting herself in an unsafe situation. [Father] Douglas Bennet... was not president of the college at the time of the sexual assault or the subsequent court case... mentioned in the story only in passing.... James agreed to recuse himself from any role in editing the story, but Jennifer Barnett, the managing editor at the time, said in an interview with The Post that "over the course of producing the story, he abused the staff and undermined the editorial process."...
...James mistreated Scott Stossel, the editor in charge of the story, often in "hard-to-detect ways," such as not inviting him to staff gatherings, ignoring his emails and cutting him off when speaking in front of colleagues. When reached to comment, Stossel, who still works at the Atlantic, said in an email: "James, with whom I worked for a decade, was an excellent, highly principled editor-in-chief and I'm very proud of the journalism we produced under his leadership. In this particular situation, circumstances put James into an impossible position, so he was recused from working on that piece, which we published as a cover story, to general acclaim."
Barnett said she reported James to human resources three times during the episode. In an email, she told Scott Havens, who was then president of the Atlantic, that James had been acting "openly hostile" toward Stossel. It was "affecting every aspect of the magazine production," she wrote, "and is quite literally making me ill." "Hi Jennifer, thanks for reporting this," Havens wrote back. "Please know I'm also aware and involved." (Havens declined to comment for this article.)
After the story published—without any changes made by James—James called the managing editor into his office. "He told me to 'be very careful,'" Barnett said. "That he was 'in this for the long game.'" A short time later, James was promoted to co-president of the Atlantic and eventually lured back to the New York Times. But not before Barnett left journalism. "I quit because of him," she said—adding that it wasn't only the fraternity story but the atmosphere James created.
"I'm astonished and very sorry to hear this, but there's no way I can defend myself. I've said I would recuse myself from anything related to my brother's campaign, and this article clearly falls into that category," James wrote in an email when asked to comment...