Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dear L.A. Times: Run the Story!


So I was down in DC this past weekend and happened to run into a well-connected media person, who told me flatly, unequivocally that “everyone knows” The LA Times was sitting on a story, all wrapped up and ready to go about what is a potentially devastating sexual scandal involving a leading Presidential candidate. “Everyone knows” meaning everyone in the DC mainstream media political reporting world. “Sitting on it” because the paper couldn’t decide the complex ethics of whether and when to run it. The way I heard it they’d had it for a while but don’t know what to do. The person who told me )not an LAT person) knows I write and didn’t say “don’t write about this”.

If it’s true, I don’t envy the LAT. I respect their hesitation, their dilemma, deciding to run or not to run it raises a lot of difficult journalism ethics questions and they’re likely to be attacked, when it comes out—the story or their suppression of the story—whatever they do.

I’ve been sensing hints that something’s going on, something’s going unspoken in certain insider coverage of the campaign (and by the way this rumor the LA Times is supposedly sitting on is one I never heard in this specific form before. By the way, [i]t’s not the Edwards rumor, it’s something else.

Does Rosenbaum know the content of the story? He knows what it isn't, but that's not the same thing. And if he does, why float the rumor of a story and then not disclose the story itself?

Anyway, hasn't the Times learned any lesson from the GQ incident? Killing a solidly-sourced story will surely bite you in the ass.

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