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Clark Hoyt on NY Times Coverage of Edwards

Hoyt does think they should have pursued the story, but is Bill Keller serious with this?

“Edwards isn’t a player at the moment,” said Richard Stevenson, who directs the newspaper’s campaign coverage. “There are a lot of big issues facing the country. The two candidates are compelling figures, and we have finite resources.” He said he agreed that Edwards was “fair game for journalism of this sort, but this hasn’t seemed to me to be a high priority for us at this moment.” I spoke with Stevenson and Keller last week before Edwards’s ABC interview.
Keller and Stevenson said it was wrong to equate the McCain and Edwards stories, as so many readers and bloggers have. The editors saw the McCain story as describing a powerful senator’s dealings with lobbyists trying to influence government decisions, including one who anonymous sources believed was having a romantic relationship with him. “Our interest in that story was not in his private romantic life,” Keller said. “It was in his relationship with lobbyists, plural, and that story took many, many weeks of intensive reporting effort.”

Then why put anything about his private life in the story? 

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