Hard News? NYT Runs Three Gossip Items on Palin Wardrobe

After putting it on Thursday's front page, the New York Times was still harping on Gov. Palin's wardrobe and who picked it out in three I.Q. melting stories in Friday's edition: "Wardrobe Mysteries Linger..." by Michael Luo and Eric Wilson, "...And a Whiff of Clarity" by Luo alone, plus a Metro section story. In "Clarity," Luo tried to nail down the role in this grand conspiracy of one "Lisa A. Kine."

The F.E.C. records showed a "Lisa L. Kine" was reimbursed for more than $2,000 in charges, including those made at Pacifier, as well as others at Macy's, the Gap, Steinlauf & Stoller, a sewing supply store in New York, and Oshman Brothers, for "tailoring supplies." The New York address listed traces to Lisa Kline, not Kine. Could this be the mystery stylist for Ms. Palin?

Luo explained that Kine was reimbursed $2,000 in charges for purchases made at various stores, including Pacifier, a children's boutique in Minneapolis owned by Jon and Wing Witthuhn, "where records show two charges of $98, one at Pacifier's downtown location and another at its store in the northeast part of the city."In its Palin campaign mockery, the august Times even lowered itself to quoting a blog, which resulted in this polished nugget of journalism, perhaps worthy of the gossip blog Gawker, appearing in the pages of America's most prestigious newspaper:

The blog, daddytypes.com, fueled the speculation by e-mailing the Witthuhns a video of Ms. Kline, and Mr. Witthuhn said he was "pretty sure it's her! CRAZY!!!"

Mrs. Witthuhn said today that her husband was "85 percent" sure but not 100 percent.

Is this still "All the News That's Fit to Print"?Metro section reporter Tina Kelley (with two other reporters contributing!) piled on with the deathless story, "G.O.P. Shopping Spree Includes a Little Sewing," which occupied an unhealthy tranche of the Metro section.It included three photos of two places in Manhattan where someone from the campaign evidently purchased sewing supplies. Kelley, not at all melodramatic, claimed that this shows the GOP reaching "into the shadowy side streets of the garment district or Chinatown."

But the party also spread the wealth, or at least let it trickle down. It spent $181.91 on Sept. 25 for "tailoring supplies" at Oshman Brothers, at 88 Eldridge Street, in Chinatown, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. The manager, Elaine Leong, did not recall the purchase on Thursday, but said it most likely went toward thread, shears or needles. She said that if the party had bought the lining-type fabric that the store is known for, it probably would have run up a higher tab.

Don't you feel more informed now?

Clay Waters
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center . Read more: http://archive.newsbusters.org/bios/clay-waters.html#ixzz3CdgxLFgQ