How Journalists Talk to One Another (NY Times Edition)


Occasional Reason contributor Cathy Seipp has an absolutely fascinating blog post up about a testy exchange she had with NY Times staffer David Cay Johnston, who is by turns aggrandizing and peevish.

The background of the post is complicated but it involves Johnston descending from the clouds to call Seipp dishonorable and lacking in integrity for publishing a story at National Review Online about lobbyist Jack Abramoff and journalists who accepted third-party payments from undisclosed sources. But it's a must-read anytime you see journalists divulging correspondence like this note from Seipp to Johnston:

And I'll tell you something else you can forward to any interested parties awaiting your opinion before you roll it up and stick it up your ass: When journalists go from keeping secrets about their sources to expecting sources to keep secrets about THEM—as you, and [New York Times reporter] Sharon Waxman, for some reason are now doing, which in her case involves threats and bullying—then something in the press has begun to stink with self-importance. Or, as you'd put it, is "a public bad." You might consider spending some time pondering that.

Whole thing here.