Private: Kantor controversy

Today’s Page Six reports that “newsroom busybodies at the New York Times are grumbling about Jodi Kantor, 28, the Howell Raines-appointed editrix of the Sunday Arts and Leisure section.”

From the column:

A few weeks ago we reported that a petition was being circulated “to remind [Times publisher] Arthur Sulzberger Jr. that several editors who remain on West 43rd Street were enthusiastic henchmen of the Raines era and would be unacceptable in a new editing team.”

Now newsroom sources say Kantor, formerly the New York editor at online magazine Slate, has made the list for rubbing her Arts and Leisure underlings the wrong way since Raines tapped her to head the section in January.

“She’s in over her head – and she’s very aloof,” sniffed one ticked Timesie.Her critics charge that Kantor is larding her section with contributions from inexperienced “old Slate cronies and Web bloggers” – like online journalist Sarah Hepola, who wrote a front-page Arts and Leisure story about “Sex and the City” last month.

But the story that’s getting Hepola the most attention is her first-person account of meeting Blair, in which she oozed empathy with the disgraced ex-Timesman.

Published online in back in May, Hepola recounted meeting Blair at a party in which the two “lost hours at the bar, talking about the things we had in common….