Next time you hear New York Times editor Bill Keller claim that newspapers are uniquely situated to do the “hard, expensive, sometimes dangerous work [of] quality journalism,” remember that his reporter broke the story of Spitzer’s dalliances with prostitutes. But also remember the time his reporter e-mailed the Gov. Paterson’s flack to request permission to call Paterson’s former mistress.
This first installment documents the shocking amount of control that Keller’s Times allowed Anderson, a former Good Morning America producer and PR veteran of the Clinton White House, to exercise over his paper’s coverage. After bringing Anderson’s world down around her head by breaking the story, Times reporters previewed portions of their stories with her before publication, asked for her permission before contacting sources, and let her tell them how to characterize its reporting in the paper.