Once the New York Philharmonic confirmed to its press department, otherwise known as the New York Times, that the identity of the ringphone offender was exactly as described on Slipped Disc, there was no more to say about the incident except to declare one clear winner.
The general consent is that Alan Gilbert handled the matter well. He was right to stop the orchestra when the phone was louder than the strings and right to wait until the offender had shut it down.
His interviews with the New York Times – other media were denied access – struck the right blend of resolution and regret. He has emerged a more credible music director than before.
In short, Alan Gilbert has bought himself a lease of life. He remains a pallid imitation of a great conductor, a pretender to his rank. But the phone affair has shown that he is not a wimp and that he possess the resilience to hold onto his job for the immediate future. Sometimes, one phone ring is all it takes to make a leader.
Oh, and there was also a big loser: the Times was fully half a day behind eyewitness blogs. They reported the incident so vividly that print media were left quoting and requoting sources they would rather suppress.