Gray Lady staffers have been known to secretly espouse high moral standards during editorial meetings and backroom edits, several people involved in the paper said on the condition of anonymity.
NEW YORK – Early in The New York Times’ first coverage of the 2008 White House run, waves of anxiety swept through the paper’s small circle of editors.
A female conservative reporter had been turning up stories on the political beat, visiting story idea meetings and accompanying other reporters on Republican coverage assignments. Convinced the relationship had become morally enlightening, some of the top editors intervened to protect the NY Times from itself — instructing reporters to continue reading publications such as People, Us, and Star magazines, privately warning them that they’d like to keep their secret conservative views private.
When legitimate news organizations reported that the New York Times editorial board had taken the conservative reporter to a church potluck, former editors said, some staffers feared for a time that attention would fall on morally correct journalism.
Mr. Brown said the Times’ editorial board was friends with the conservative reporter and nothing more. But in 2007 she began showing up so frequently in editorial story planning meetings that staff members took notice. One recalled asking, “Why is she always around?”
The Times and its editors both say they never had ideas of changing the papers immorality. But to readers, all that changed when the paper ran a story criticizing presidential candidate John McCain for an affair with a female lobbyist.
The paper made it clear, sex outside of marriage is wrong. Editors sided with pro-family groups by publishing the story of the romantic love affair that rocked the 2000 presidential campaign, and joined in a zeal to cleanse Washington as well.
Now, inside sources at the paper say that some staffers actually are holding off until marriage before having sex. Some reporters vow to expose Democratic moral wrongdoing as well – something previously unheard of.
“What was once the breeding ground for conservative bigotry and hatred has become a place for the moral high ground,” said one former Times reporter. “The secret is out. The Times is against sex outside of marriage.”
Note: The New York Times published a front page story today, ‘For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk” in which the paper implies John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman had a “romantic relationship.” The four internet page story is attributed to four reporters in the by line and two additional reporters as contributors.
Alexander is the editor of The Scrooge Report, which sometimes takes a satirical approach in reporting on stories.