The dynamic, in the selection for a successor, is very much the father figure – an ultimate, revered, unmodern father figure (no psychology allowed here) – picking from among his devoted children, primarily a close circle of women he has mentored for many years. If the Guardian itself were to write this story of the culture at the Guardian it would likely be quite a disapproving one about the patriarchal male exercising undue and manipulative control over the dependent women around him. That in itself presents a curious management bind. Given the Guardian’s high levels of correctness and self-consciousness, the expectation is that Rusbridger’s successor will be a woman. But the women at hand are all acolytes, who have spent most of their careers in devoted attendance to their boss, and hence lack independence or their own authority. In recent years, this circle of followers and potential successors has consisted of four women, each of whom has performed duties of factotum, office wife, deputy, alter ego, and keeper of the Rusbridger flame.

Michael Wolff gets his Guardian-trolling punches in early, with this rather nasty piece about the leading candidates to succeed Alan Rusbridger.

“The poisoned chalice: who will succeed Alan Rusbridger?”


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