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NY Times Reporter Jumps to His Death:
August 22, 2002 11:39 AM   Subscribe

NY Times Reporter Jumps to His Death: Matt Drudge reports that New York Times Business reporter/editor Allen Myerson jumped to death at the NY Times building in New York City on 43rd Street this morning. Myerson was the Weekend Business Editor at the NY Times and a member of the Business Journalism Advisory Council. Among other things, Myerson reported on Enron. An abstract of a Myerson article that appeared in the newspaper last December says, "Enron Corp's failure is having repercussions not just on nation's energy industries, but is being felt through retailing, real estate, insurance, banking, Internet services, newspaper publishing, plastics and glass manufacturing, all of which Enron touched in its boundless appetite for risk and growth."
posted by maud (52 comments total)

 
But is Ann Coulter glad?
posted by Sapphireblue at 11:48 AM on August 22, 2002


Ah, the modern, desensitized American psyche.
My (and my boss's) first reaction was to giggle. Frankly, some stereotypes are simply too true.
posted by kavasa at 11:52 AM on August 22, 2002


kavasa -- what stereotypes? Suicidal reporters? Not offended, but puzzled.
posted by BT at 11:54 AM on August 22, 2002


Collection of investment advice from the NY Times financial desk, edited by Myerson. Horrible, frightening thing, suicide. But you knew that.
posted by mediareport at 11:57 AM on August 22, 2002


Can we save the obits for newspapers (ooh irony) and personal blogs? NYTimes filter ineed.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:01 PM on August 22, 2002


Mediareport: In your Amazon link, ref%3Dase%5Fwendysmall is an affiliate code. I don't know who wendysmall is, but she's going to earn money off any Amazon purchases that result from that link.
posted by rcade at 12:09 PM on August 22, 2002


It's fine to mention the possible (very creepy) tie to the Enron scandal...but it's unlikely that he "killed himself over Enron" in any real sense.

As experts who study suicide point out, the most common cause of suicide is untreated or incorrectly treated mental illness.

So, in all likelihood, (assuming this was a suicide) Enron and the resulting stress just made a bad situation worse for this guy. Sad, sad story.
posted by 23lemurs at 12:24 PM on August 22, 2002


1) Why giggle?
2) Why no obits? I find them valuable.
3) Enron might have had nothing at all to do with it, for all we know. Reporters generally are pretty good at distancing themselves from their stories, or else some wouldn't keep their jobs very long.
posted by nedlog at 12:30 PM on August 22, 2002


Can we get a link from an actual news source on this? The phrase "Matt Drudge reports" gives me fits of laughter.
posted by jjg at 12:34 PM on August 22, 2002



I posted this item because I thought the timing of Myerson's suicide was odd or at least unfortunate: an Enron executive just pled guilty yesterday to the government's charges, and now a business reporter who has reported on Enron's demise has jumped to his death. Regardless of the particular newspaper he works for, Myerson is a major voice in the world of business and personal investment.
posted by maud at 12:35 PM on August 22, 2002


Reuters.
posted by BT at 12:37 PM on August 22, 2002


Is Netscape considered an actual news source?
posted by sparky at 12:39 PM on August 22, 2002


what no nyt link?
hmmm. not even a mention there.
posted by quonsar at 12:43 PM on August 22, 2002


perhaps kasava was referring to all the jumping from high building suicides during the great depression. but those were tycoons or something, no?
posted by quonsar at 12:45 PM on August 22, 2002


I want to know why it doesn't sound like anyone saw it happen... is anyone here familiar with that building?

I thought newspapers cared about printing the story first, no matter what the story... maybe not?
posted by sparky at 12:54 PM on August 22, 2002


Assuming it was a suscide...

Can Anne Colter account for her whereabouts today?
posted by TCMITS at 12:58 PM on August 22, 2002


Yikes, looks like I'd better pay more attention to the 'preview' function here!
posted by TCMITS at 12:59 PM on August 22, 2002


rcade: shhh, she's my sister. :) Sorry for that. I was looking for anything unusually sinister Myerson had written about aside from Enron, and thought I'd gotten to a non-affiliate link by clicking around.

Btw, while we're talking about Enron, you'll be saddened to know that former CEO Jeff Skilling is apparently moping around his 9,000-square-foot home (NYT) and drowning his sorrows with white wine and gin in swanky Houston bars over the fact that no one believes him when he says he didn't know what was really going on at Enron.
posted by mediareport at 1:10 PM on August 22, 2002


Not sure what that has to do with the story here, mediareport. I don't think discussion of a reporter's apparent suicide should be used as yet another platform for corporate criticism (not that Skilling et al don't deserve it, but I'd save the axe-grinding for the dozens of other threads on that topic.)
posted by evanizer at 1:23 PM on August 22, 2002


Way to be obtuse, Ev.
posted by goethean at 1:30 PM on August 22, 2002


The article was very interesting, and discussed in detail on C-SPAN's Washington Journal this morning. Those C-SPAN corporate critics with axes to grind!
posted by raysmj at 1:33 PM on August 22, 2002


what evanizer said. Only on MeFi could a FPP about a reporter's suicide turn into a thread about Enron and Anne Coulter.
posted by MidasMulligan at 1:35 PM on August 22, 2002


It's showing up in other news sources now, same version over and over.

As with any family, we're called on to endure our share of tragedies, she quoted publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. as saying in a memo sent to Times employees. This is one of those times and our support for one another will help all of us get through it.
posted by sparky at 1:37 PM on August 22, 2002


23lemurs is right. (I was on the board of a crisis center for a few years - had to train people to deal with suicidal callers). Generally there are always surface reasons for a suicide (usually money or relationship problems), but the reasons stated are rarely the actual cause ... the suicidal condition itself is usually related to clinical depression, or brain chemical imblanaces, or other mental difficulties ... and once the condition comes about, the person usually finds the reasons to dwell on (i.e., the reasons don't cause the condition, the conditions simply finds rerasons to justify itself). Whenever a human being reaches the point, however, of taking their own life ... it is just profoundly sad.
posted by MidasMulligan at 1:45 PM on August 22, 2002


Pardon me, MidasMulligan, but I think that what turns a New York Times reporter's suicide into something about Ann Coulter... is when Ann Coulter is quoted in the media that very same day wishing everyone at NYT dead.

Not to imply for even a tiny little second that you might have your own biases about MeFi's biases. Goodness, no.
posted by Sapphireblue at 1:57 PM on August 22, 2002


Uh, oh, here we go again.

What, exactly, do Ann Coulter's (typically) hyperbolic remarks have to do with this particular reporter's death? I'm sure somewhere, someone in Saudi Arabia, Yemen or Berlin is wishing everyone in the US dead right now. Does that mean that all tragic suicides in America today are then related somehow to said comments? Do you suggest that, in any discussion of said tragic suicides, a mention or criticism of that person in Yemen who wished everyone in the US dead is warranted? Did Coulter cast a wicked spell on the Times, causing this reporter to leap to his death? C'mon.

This guy was not a martyr to Enron or Ann Coulter. He was a sadly ill individual who took his own life. Confusing the topics is just insulting.
posted by evanizer at 2:13 PM on August 22, 2002


I'm just amazed that the NYT institution is so influential and pervasive these days that the suicide of one of their middle managers is news. I don't deny that I thought it was interesting, just bemused that this non-wealthy non-politician was important enough to society to stand out from the thousands of other suicides each year.

If you've read The Kingdom and the Power or Behind the Times, you have a sense of how serious and how stilting the Times newsroom culture used to be, at least.
posted by gsteff at 2:14 PM on August 22, 2002


Confusing the topics is just insulting.

I was trying to salvage the thread, since I didn't see a whole lot to be said about the sad story here, but ok, maybe I recover from this stuff faster than I should (I worked as a volunteer at a suicide hotline in the early 90's). Is gsteff's comment insulting, too?
posted by mediareport at 2:23 PM on August 22, 2002


I worded that callously. A suicide is always awful and very significant, proof positive that society has failed at whatever goal any reasonable person thinks society exists to achieve. My sincere apologies.

But this particular suicide is in the news not as an example of a broader trend but because of it happened to someone ususual and interesting to society. There are few private individuals who carry that distinction, and I think its interesting that regular editors at the NYT are now among them.
posted by gsteff at 2:39 PM on August 22, 2002


Given that Drudge's site is about as easy to navigate as a waxed floor in socks, I didn't see the story....I am glad, however, to see that those twits Opie and Anthony have been fired....Sorry, I'm not helping this thread, am I?
posted by jalexei at 2:40 PM on August 22, 2002


Only on MeFi could a FPP about a reporter's suicide turn into a thread about Enron and Anne Coulter.
posted by MidasMulligan at 1:35 PM PST on August 22


Could be worse.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:47 PM on August 22, 2002


What, exactly, do Ann Coulter's (typically) hyperbolic remarks have to do with this particular reporter's death?

...The woman wished everyone at NYT dead. Some guy jumped to his death. Sapphire wanted to know how Ann Coulter felt about it, because hey, saying you wish someone was dead and then having it happen is pretty harsh (and really, one would imagine the woman's swimming in some kind of guilt).

And then there's the somewhat inappropriate suggestion that Ann Coulter herself did it, but again, a comment basically wondering how the woman feels after having said what she said, in light of the suicide.

That's really the only reason I can see that she was brought up, and it's a very valid tangent.
posted by precocious at 2:47 PM on August 22, 2002


On Drudge, is it the third story down on the left - "Boss Slips"? Sorry, bad joke.
posted by sparky at 2:48 PM on August 22, 2002


Given that Drudge's site is about as easy to navigate as a waxed floor in socks,

Who cuts your meat for you? 8^)

And I think evanizer was trolling. I hope he was trolling...
posted by BGM at 2:54 PM on August 22, 2002


How are either of Evanizer's comments trolls? They're about thread drift and respect.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:59 PM on August 22, 2002


Pretending he didn't get the Coulter reference. Enron stuff gets blocked by my mental filter now, I didn't even notice it.
posted by BGM at 3:04 PM on August 22, 2002


Yes, BGM. Because you don't agree with his viewpoint, he was trolling. Yep. Definitely. He should be horse-whipped.

I think he *got* the Coulter reference, maybe it just seemed superfluous or inappropriate?
posted by dhoyt at 3:10 PM on August 22, 2002


I know he got the reference, I was just trying to explain that to precocious to prevent thread drift. But you've pooched that up totally now. Nice job Mr. Paranoid. PinkStainlessTail is really gonna be put out now...

.....So Ann Coulter isn't trolling??

Assuming this was a suicide, and assuming you buy Christian dogma, do you think that in addition to burning in Hell for the sin of taking his own life, Myerson is being tormented with the knowledge that his last, lonely, desperate act is now just fodder for Ann Coulter jokes?

That was my best shot at getting this thread back on track. Hopefully some of you can do better. PinkStainlessTail, you got anything?
posted by BGM at 3:32 PM on August 22, 2002


tick.....tick....tick.....

Apparently not. Sorry, maud. When the story about speculation that he was offed by some vengeful Enron suit gets posted, we'll all remember that you were here right at the start of the whole thing.
posted by BGM at 4:33 PM on August 22, 2002


Whenever a human being reaches the point, however, of taking their own life ... it is just profoundly sad.

Why?
posted by rushmc at 4:36 PM on August 22, 2002


YAY! rushmc, you go girl!!!
posted by BGM at 4:39 PM on August 22, 2002


Whenever a human being reaches the point, however, of taking their own life ... it is just profoundly sad.

Why?


Because mental illness is a treatable group of diseases, and doesn't have to be fatal.
posted by anildash at 4:59 PM on August 22, 2002


I don't know who wendysmall is, but she's going to earn money off any Amazon purchases that result from that link.

rcade: Oh gee! It makes no difference to the price you pay, so if some random other person makes a few bucks, who really cares? Clearly you do, but I couldn't possibly work out why. Or were you just highlighting your enhanced observational skills?
posted by wackybrit at 5:08 PM on August 22, 2002


Because mental illness is a treatable group of diseases, and doesn't have to be fatal.

That opens a can of worms I don't want to wade into, but I find your presumptions flawed.
posted by rushmc at 5:23 PM on August 22, 2002


For those of you in the beginning of the thread who were confused about my initial post, quonsar was indeed right. The Onion touched on this a while ago, for example.

Didn't one or two people off themselves when the dotcoms fell over dead, too?
posted by kavasa at 6:09 PM on August 22, 2002


Oh gee! It makes no difference to the price you pay, so if some random other person makes a few bucks, who really cares? Clearly you do, but I couldn't possibly work out why. Or were you just highlighting your enhanced observational skills?

It isn't rocket science. If someone makes money off of this site, I think this guy has earned it more than Wendy Small.
posted by rcade at 6:50 PM on August 22, 2002


Ah! kavasa, I get you, now, but I think the reason it didn't come across was the term "stereotypes" that you used. There's no stereotype about business reporters jumping from ledges in times of market trouble -- the stereotype is about businessmen and investors. Dobbs, as a money-culture pundit, works in the narrative of this one-panel-cartoon-level-minimyth: he's a sort we identify with the business community. We imagine him as happy when market is up, distressed when the market is down.

But I think the cultural position of the print business reporter feels different: it's more neutral, more classically journalistic, and separate from the cultural icon of the fat-cat businessman (who in the moment of the market crash becomes a comically despairing figure like Dobbs in the Onion piece) -- the natural joke didn't, for me, transfer.

Alternatively, I'm just a little slow.
posted by BT at 8:05 PM on August 22, 2002


Human life means nothing to the towering fortitude of the likes of rushmc. I applaud you, O perfect, impervious master.
posted by evanizer at 10:30 PM on August 22, 2002


I bet you're pro-choice, though, evanizer.....

Holy Crap! This effing thread keeps veering off!!

And for that lame attempt at contemptuous scarcasm, you should be horse whipped, only you're not worth wasting the horse's time! Yale is hanging its head tonight.....
posted by BGM at 11:24 PM on August 22, 2002


Does someone have a link to the original Ann Coulter comment?
posted by mecran01 at 5:58 AM on August 23, 2002


Coultergeist

And the latest dirt (back on track again!!!)
Report: NYT staffer who jumped to his death had marriage problems

I have little pity for Myerson himself, but the poor guy who told him how to get to the roof must be feeling the weight today, him I feel for.
posted by BGM at 7:11 AM on August 23, 2002


Human life means nothing to the towering fortitude of the likes of rushmc. I applaud you, O perfect, impervious master.

Excellent...sarcasm is SUCH a great fallback when one has nothing to say, eh?
posted by rushmc at 8:38 AM on August 23, 2002


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