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Notes on a 'scandal'

March 27, 2007

Re "Times' opinion chief quits," March 23

My father would be disappointed. I didn't heed one of his crucial axioms in life: Never have more stuff in your office than you can put in a box -- a lesson he learned in Mexico from the PRI regime's sudden nationalization of the company he worked at, when he was practically hauled out of his office by the army.

So there I was, standing in my office last Thursday morning, having quit my post as the editor of these pages on principle, looking around at a lot of books and artwork. Instead of being able to storm out defiantly, I had to pause, a bit awkwardly, to ask: "Um, you guys have some boxes?"

As to the "scandal" that caused my integrity to be questioned, I can assure readers that I had no knowledge that any friend of mine did publicity work for Hollywood producer Brian Grazer when he was asked to guest-edit Current, a decision taken by three editors in our department and approved by the publisher. And I never dreamed that any friend of mine or any firm employing a friend would be asked by Grazer to help publicize his involvement with Current. When that turned out to be the case, I flagged the apparent conflict to the publisher and our in-house publicist.

I wish all my former colleagues at the paper all the best.

ANDReS MARTINEZ

Santa Monica

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