Today Dean Baquet called a U.S.C. professor an “asshole” on Facebook after that professor criticized Baquet’s decision, as executive editor of The New York Times, not to publish any of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting Mohammad. Full transcript after the jump.

Some background: The professor in question is Marc Cooper, who teaches at U.S.C.’s Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism in Los Angeles. Earlier today, in a Facebook post linking to Margaret Sullivan’s discussion of Baquet’s decision, Cooper wrote:

A question for NYTimes editor Dean Baquet. Exactly how many people have to be shot in cold blood before your paper rules that you can show us what provoked the killers? Apparently 23 shot including 11 dead is not enough. What absolute cowardice. These MSM managers act is if they are running insurance companies, not news organizations.

Baquet, for some reason, responded over two comments:

Dear Marc, appreciate the self righteous second guessing without even considering there might be another point of view. Hope your students are more open minded. Asshole

That’s the point. Those are the cartoons one would have to show. Marc my pompous friend where would you run this one?

At first Cooper replied (to a commenter questioning whether the Facebook user claiming to be Dean Baquet was in fact Baquet):

Yeah that is really Dean Baquet. A compelling argument:l) BTW, Dean, of course there is a second view. The one stated in M. Sullivean's note in which you are amply quoted on your point of view. You just happen to be wrong. man. I call you that instead of your word "asshole" as I try to meet long standing standards we have here of decency and refrain from insulting, as you put it.

And to another commenter:

Forgive Dean. He’s under a lot of pressure right now deciding what news fits in the paper. It’s a tough job deciding for all the rest of us.

Back to Baquet:

Of course there is a second view. And I welcome it. But your note was thoughtless and arrogant. It didn’t invite argument. It invites so what you got. And no insurance didn’t even enter the discussion.

I welcome vigorous debate. Not righteous cheap shots

In turn, Cooper wrote:

Well, I will keep that in mind next time a post comment on Facebook., There’s nothing righteous about what I said. There is just a simple underlying truth. There is no good reason to not publish the pictures and your argument was underwhelming, I know that my 4,000 followers on puts me de facto in a position of arrogance vis a vis the humble editor of the paper of record, but it is a professional risk I must take Now, don’t make me go and delete all those nice columns I wrote about when you were defending the LATimes staff against the cuts. I only wish that sort of spirit would have infused this decision.

And Baquet:

Understand you disagree. But there was a thoughtful discussion to be had. Next time I promise we will have it. But I bristle at arguments like those of fauchier who think it was a question of courage. It was not. Thanks for the chance to exorcise my demons now. Dean

(“fauchier” refers to a commenter who in the same thread wrote: “tell the fucking truth nothing more and if it’s a cartoon a cartoon it is! WTF!”)

Alright, well. Here’s the full thread. Have a good weekend.

Photo credit: YouTube; H/T Romenesko