New York governor David Paterson blasted The New York Times on Tuesday for allowing potentially career-ending rumors to circulate regarding a profile it has yet to publish about him.
In a letter to the newspaper's public editor, Paterson chief of staff Lawrence Schwartz questioned the journalistic ethics of the Times. The full text is available at The Huffington Post.
"Over the weekend, speculation about what your article might reveal reached a fever pitch, and stories emerged predicting that, because of the Times' story, the Governor would be forced to resign this week," writes Schwartz to public editor Clark Hoyt. "The imagined justifications for this predicted outcome ran the gamut of the most salacious and outrageous accusations uninformed speculation could produce."
"At any point, the Times' editors could have easily issued a public statement clarifying that the profile neither contained nor supported the salacious stories being sourced to it," writes Schwartz. "Doing so would not have compromised the legitimate reporting being undertaken, the exclusive content being developed, nor the paper's right to produce such a profile. A public clarification would, however, have spared the public the misleading spectacle of the last week. Common decency, if not journalistic ethics, demanded as much."
Followings days of silence about the swirling rumors, which were splashed on tabloid front pages, Governor Paterson addressed the speculation at a press conference on Monday. He vowed to run for election this fall, and said he has no intention to resign.
"The only way I'm not going to be governor next year is at the ballot box, and the only way that I'll be leaving office before is in a box," said Paterson.
A spokeswoman for the Times says the newspaper is not responsible for what other news outlets and blogs report.