Unnamed Times ‘Metro’ Reporter: ‘We’ve Grown a Pair of Balls’

In this week’s New York Magazine, Chris Smith tackles the implosion of Caroline Kennedy’s effort for the Senate and while picking apart what went wrong, he points to the disastrous interview that she did with the Times back in December.

That interview, and the weeks of tough coverage in The Times, was apparently a rallying cry for Joe Sexton’s ‘Metro’ crew. Writes Mr. Smith:

Kennedy also smacked headlong into a newly emboldened Times city staff. ‘We’ve grown a pair of balls, and I’m amazingly proud of the paper,’ says a Times reporter. ‘The turning point was the editorial page’s rolling over for Bloomberg on erasing term limits. The reaction from the reporters and editors is that we’re the last line of defense—we’ve got to hold the line.’ Not for or against any particular politician, that is, but to stand up for small-d democracy. After inflating her candidacy by making her simple declaration of interest in the job the lead story of the day, they compensated by hitting her hard.

It would be interesting to talk to that reporter about more recent coverage, however. There was the puff piece—a veritable ‘Woman in the News’ feature—written two days before Caroline suddenly bowed out, and the tough-to-believe bit about how Caroline dropped out because of her Uncle Teddy’s illness—an embarrassing line of defense that came from the Caroline Kennedy camp, and has been roundly dismissed since.