Our friend, the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi, is one of the nation’s best media reporters. Today, he has a great story about the Post’s rival, the New York Times, hiring an intern who had been an Obama speech writer. Paul covers it in a very even-handed fashion.
There was a time when such political affiliations would have ruled out a job in journalism, much less one covering politics. As Paul points out, those times have changed with the likes of Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos.
But the GOP criticism of this intern’s story – whether it’s deserved or not – has more traction because of the intern’s past Democratic ties. As journalists always love to quote pundits saying, it’s the appearance of impropriety that causes a loss of credibility for the Times.
We should also say: We’re surprised to see an intern covering a major political story for the NY Times. Less than a decade ago, the intern would have been grabbing quotes for the veteran political reporter who would be writing the story.