GOP gubernatorial hopeful Rick Lazio has upped the ante on the New York Times, sending a letter to Executive Editor Bill Keller in which he accuses the paper of committing "psychological warfare" on Gov. David Paterson.
This is hardly the first time the former Long Island congressman has taken on the role of protecting and/or defending the embattled governor he purportedly wants to defeat in the fall. (This is Lazio's second statement on rumorgate today).
Of course, we all know who the real target is here.
Lazio probably figures he's unlikely to get the Times endorsement anyway, so he might as well swing for the fences on this one.
Here's the text of Lazio's letter, which he helpfully made public in the form of a press release:
Dear Mr. Keller,
Your paper has generated a media firestorm that is directly hurting the Governor of the State of New York, David Paterson. This is not because of a story you have published, but because of the hype surrounding an unconfirmed story that has grown larger than the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Your paper has a responsibility to report the truth, and the public expects nothing less. End the shroud of secrecy surrounding your potential story.
If the New York Times is working on or has a story, then you should confirm or print it. If you do not, then you have a moral obligation to stop the drama and the psychological warfare on Governor Paterson.
Unfortunately, these rumors about the Governor are a sad reflection of Albany politics. No public official deserves to be the subject of over a week of innuendo and nasty speculation. I hope you do the right thing, and do it soon.
In other Paterson-rumor-mill news:
- Ben Smith reports the Times is scheduled to interview the governor tomorrow.
- New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman quotes a source close to the Paterson camp as saying: "The piece is PG-13, not XXX. Not to say it won't be problematic, but the Aqueduct situation? That's potentially criminal. On his extramarital affairs, the question is who those people are, and what jobs they've held."