Journos Find Fault With NYT Story

Some didn't run McCain bombshell; Times ' own ombudsman bashed it
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 7:31 PM CST
Vicki Iseman   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The New York Times’ bombshell story about John McCain’s ethics problems—and his allegedly inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist—is nearly a week old, but the media world is still reacting:

  • The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s ombudsman explains that his paper’s editor was too uncomfortable with the romantic angle to run the Times piece—which he accuses of “unsubstantiated innuendo”—and decided to run the unsexed Washington Post story instead. But they drew criticism from readers anyway.

  • Journalism prof Jay Rosen says the Times has suffered the biggest possible “defeat in the court of opinion”—a scolding by its own public editor. Clark Hoyt wrote yesterday that the paper “owes readers more proof” than it gave about the alleged affair.
  • The Albany Times-Union editor says the firestorm over the romantic accusation overshadowed a piece of “good journalism” that put “disparate events” into illuminating context. But it’s the paper’s own fault for not realizing how sensational the sex story would be.