February 22, 2008

Another Refusenik, Closer To Home

Earlier today, I linked to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and its editor's essay about the journalistic defects in the New York Times hit piece on John McCain. David McCumber chose not to run the Times' article in the Seattle P-I despite having the rights to it on syndication. Andrew Malcom at the Los Angeles Times reports that another paper also killed the story -- despite being owned by the New York Times:

But one interesting aspect of this combined political and professional controversy went widely unnoticed. The Boston Globe, which is wholly owned by the New York Times, chose not to publish the article produced by its parent company's reporters.

Instead, the Globe published a version of the same story written by the competing Washington Post staff. That version focused almost exclusively on the pervasive presence of lobbyists in McCain's campaign and did not mention the sexual relationship that the Times article hinted at but did not describe or document and which the senator and lobbyist have denied.

On Thursday the Globe's website, Boston.com, did provide a link to the Times story on the Times' website. But such a stark editorial decision by a major newspaper raises suspicions that even the Globe's editors, New York Times Co. employees all, had their own concerns about the content of their parent company's story.

Rainey asked the Globe's editor, Martin Baron, about that decision. His eloquent reply: "No comment."

When journalists hear such rhetorical avoidance from public figures and politicians, they usually take it as confirmation of their suspicions.

That's a rather telling denunciation, isn't it?

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