Since their days at Harvard three decades ago, [Susan Estrich] and [Michael Kinsley] had been mostly out of touch. But when Times editor [John Carroll] named Kinsley to head the opinion pages last April, Estrich was soon repeating her complaints about the lack of women.
Over several months, Estrich alternately courted and cajoled The Times' new op-ed man. She invited him to dinner and signed one message "xoxoxo." She threatened to take her campaign to other media outlets or to women on the board of the Tribune Company, which owns The Times. (Estrich's e-mails to Kinsley -- posted briefly on her website -- made those details public.)
A long veteran of public scraps, Kinsley distributed his response to the same people, saying he was withdrawing his column offer to Estrich because of her comments about his health. Carroll, The Times' top editor, added his own retort, which accused Estrich of "extravagant malice" in her dealings with the opinion editor.