Now on Day Six, commentators are getting impatient for the rumored New York Times scoop
on New York Governor David Paterson. (In the absence of hard reporting, they've been left to guess everything from PG-13 financial sins to a full-blown sex-scandal.) Paterson is impatient, too--in a strongly worded letter
from his secretary, he tells the Times to dismiss rumors, while admitting its right to publish a profile "as searing and critical as the facts might justify." The Times only gave a coy response, building pundit frustration, with a few even offering muted support for the embattled
- 'J'accuse Letter,' Glenn Thrush
calls the Paterson's message to The New York Times, thus comparing it to the famous public
missive from Émile Zola about the Dreyfus Affair in 1898. While remaining neutral, he calls it
"extraordinary ... essentially accusing the paper of doing nothing to
firestorm of speculation over its highly anticipated profile of him."
- This is the New Journalism "It's like some terrible game of media Telephone," mutters Glynnis MacNicol
at Mediaite. She welcomes readers to "the new, new journalism where even
the New York Times editorial board is forced to go meta. Seriously meta
... Snake eating its own tail, etc."
- Give Paterson Credit "You certainly can't say he's boring," remarks Domenico Montanaro
at MSNBC's First Read. He reviews a statement in which the governor
rejects resignation, saying the only way he'll leave office before his
term is over is "in a box." Richard Brownell at the usually conservative FrumForum agrees:
deserves credit for his moxie if nothing else. He soldiers on in the
face of dismal approval ratings, an obstinate if not wholly hostile
state legislature, and even a Democratic White House that just wishes
he would go away. This latest rumor about Paterson's early exit only
compounds the issue. The Governor himself openly mused about its
source, and one can’t help but wonder if political enemies are trying
to hasten his exit from the public stage.
- Why Is the Times Reporting Rumors About Their Reporting? Politico's Ben Smith
identifies an "arch little item without a byline" in the Times, which
includes a "jab at Paterson" for attacking the paper for "not formally
tackling the issue of the story everyone is talking about that doesn’t
exist." Another Politico colleague, Michael Calderone, reasonably points out that soon the hype will reach a level unsurpassable by the actual story.
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