Mrs. Brownstein

Sunday's New York Times reported on last weekend's marriage of Ron Brownstein, the LAT politics writer in Washington and CNN analyst, and Eileen Nicole McMenamin, the new communications director for Sen. John McCain. She had been a CNN producer on "Inside Politics With Judy Woodruff." The news ticks off blogger Brendan Nyhan, who posts:

The personal lives of journalists are none of my business -- except when they involve the public figures whom the journalists cover. A case in point is NBC's Andrea Mitchell, who frequently comments on matters involving the Federal Reserve without disclosing that her husband is Fed chairman Alan Greenspan. It's inappropriate.

So I was dismayed to discover today that Ron Brownstein, one of the best political journalists in the business, just got married to Eileen McMenamin, John McCain's communications director. According to the Times blurb and a report by the Washington Post's Al Kamen, McMenamin left CNN to take the job in February.

Here's the problem -- Brownstein wrote a column on April 25 that unrealistically touted McCain as a third party presidential candidate...No disclosure of Brownstein's personal relationship with McMenamin appears in the online version of the article -- why? Isn't this an obvious conflict of interest that readers deserve to know about?

Brownstein is divorced from Nina Easton, a former LAT Magazine writer now the deputy Washington bureau chief for the Boston Globe.

Also in LAT Land: In yesterday's L.A. Times Book Review, Rand terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins gave a good review to the new book about the 9/11 attackers by Times staff writer Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It. Writes Jenkins: "McDermott is not the first to tackle the Sept. 11 plot, but 'Perfect Soldiers' benefits from interviews with acquaintances of the hijackers, evidence from the Sept. 11 commission report and material from interrogations of captured terrorists who helped plan the attacks. He skillfully blends these to produce a group portrait of the Sept. 11 hijackers. They emerge as three-dimensional, some even likable, human beings. It is a fascinating tale."

And: LAT sports columnist J.A. Adande is interviewed by Phil Wallace at LAist.

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