NYT Cozied Up to Spitzer Staff Amid Scandal

Emails reveal friendly exchanges between reporters, sources
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2009 1:53 PM CST
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announces his resignation as his wife Silda looks on Wednesday, March 12, 2008, in his offices in New York City.   (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)

(Newser) – The New York Times may have broken the news that Eliot Spitzer had a prostitute problem, but it was awfully nice to Spitzer’s staff amid the scandal. Gawker used New York’s open records law to snag a huge number of emails between reporters and Spitzer’s people, and discovered that the paper showed a lot of deference, sending them passages for review, and in one case even letting Spitzer’s communication director spike quotes from an interview it had already conducted.

They later asked permission to call David Paterson’s ex-mistress, if another paper was already doing it. The flak agreed, even supplying her number. Gawker says the emails show the “creeping social and professional alliances that inevitably develop between PR handlers and their overworked, easily manipulated charges in the press corps.” But New York magazine mocks the “breaking” news that the reporters were polite to their sources, and notes that the courtesy won the Times a Pulitzer.