WSJ reports on the Times

L.A. Times editor John Carroll says in the Wall Street Journal today that he expected a backlash against he paper's Schwarzenegger stories, because they were about the darker side of a candidate that many see as a white knight.

"I told my publisher and my editors this is likely to cause the biggest reaction to the newspaper we'd ever seen."

He again dismissed the rumors that the first story last Thursday had been held after it was ready to run.

"If I did something dishonest, like hold a story for political reasons," said Mr. Carroll, "my reporters would riot."

The piece sketches out the controversy and the paper's recent history under Carroll. Jill Stewart is quoted blasting the paper, and an ethicist from the Poynter Institute says the unusually short campaign cycle complicates when to run stories. His bottom line: ""If you think it's legitimate and important information, you don't wait until after the election."

The biggest news is that the story appears to be outside the WSJ pay wall, using the Romenesko link. Meanwhile, Bill Bradley at the LA Weekly website says the Gray Davis campaign knew ahead of time about the first Times story on groping. How far ahead? He doesn't say, but tells Mickey Kaus it was perhaps a day ahead. Kaus also asserts that the Times and NBC's own transcript misquote Arnold on a key point in his interview with Tom Brokaw.

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