Keller Defends Story on NPR-- as 'NYT' Asks Readers to Question Reporters -- and McCain Declares 'War' on Paper?

Article excerpt

Appearing on NPR's "All Things Considered" tonight, Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times said its John McCain/lobbyist bombshell was "not a gotcha story about some kind of quid pro quo.... We don't know if there was a quid or a quo in this case. What we do know is that people very close to him, who watched him day after day, were worried enough by his behavior that they felt that he was endangering his career."

He also said, "He [McCain] came back from Vietnam a hero, entered into public life and then was felled by the Keating Five scandal, if you read his books, it was clearly a humiliating event for him. And he subsequently built his political life on themes of redemption, reform, you know, rectitude, if you will - and became the scourge of lobbyists, the champion of campaign finance reform, and so on, in Washington.

"Yet, according to some people who knew him best, he can be surprisingly careless about his reputation, and that's what I think this, his relationship with this particular lobbyist illustrates, although I think there's a lot of other illustrations as well in the piece." There's a little more on Keller's interview at The Page at time.com.

The Times tonight on its Web site noted that well over 2000 comments had been left on its original McCain story -- so it is now soliciting questions from readers that will be put before those who reported and edited the story on Friday. …