Judith Warner's Game Change cop-out

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt on the paper's coverage of Game Change:

The Times has treated "Game Change" as news, but carefully: a review in the daily paper that raised the sourcing issues; a Sunday review; coverage of Reid's apology and Republican attempts to capitalize on it; an essay on the death of loyalty among political staffers; and another on the damage to the image of Elizabeth Edwards, portrayed in the book as "an abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending crazywoman."

...

Judith Warner, who wrote the Style section column about Elizabeth Edwards, said she did not try to verify what the book said because she was examining the issue of image. It's too bad she did not try, because on the same day her column appeared, former aides to Edwards told Politico, on the record, that the book's portrayal was accurate but incomplete, failing to capture her warmer side.

Well, that's a lame defense. How, exactly, do you "examine the issue of image" without exploring the accuracy of that image? You can do it, but you're left with an awfully shallow examination.

And, in fact, Warner's column wasn't exactly silent on the question of Game Change's accuracy. Here's how she began:

YET another illusion has been shattered.

In a new book about the 2008 presidential campaign, "Game Change," Elizabeth Edwards is portrayed as "an abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending crazywoman," and nothing like her image as "St. Elizabeth."

That certainly sounds like she's endorsing Game Change's portrayal of Edwards, doesn't it?

Network/Outlet
The New York Times
Person
Clark Hoyt, Judith Warner
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