New York Times Won’t Address Paterson Rumors

In the Sunday edition of The New York Times, Clark Hoyt fumed about the nature of salacious rumor-mongering about the alleged sex scandal his paper was assumed to be writing about New York Governor David Paterson. From John Koblin at The New York Observer to the front-page of The New York Post, the story so saturated in this month’s news cycle that Paterson himself had to address the issue in a conference. Now the Times is taking an official stance on the subject: “No comment.”

According to Hoyt, when feeling the pressure from both friends and political enemies of Paterson to issue some sort of statement on the article they may or may not be writing, NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller said:

For The Times to issue a statement saying, ‘We are not investigating rumors about the sex life or drug use or financial shenanigans of Public Figure X’ doesn’t clear the good name of Public Figure X. It simply announces that we’ve heard the rumors and for some reason chose not to look into them.”

So, Hoyt asks, “Does a newspaper have an obligation to address other people’s scuttlebutt about its reporting?” Despite it’s objections to the contrary, it apparently does…why else would this article be written in the first place if not to address the fact of “the rumor” that New York City’s governor had an illicit affair? But even if the Times did start the fire, they certainly aren’t going to take credit for it: hence the name of Hoyt’s piece, “Somebody Else’s Rumor.”

Read More: Somebody Else’s Rumor — New York Times

Previously: No News Means Fake News