Times bloggers told not to mention Edwards story *

Mickey Kaus has the email from Los Angeles Times blog editor Tony Pierce telling the paper's bloggers not to go there on the John Edwards-tryst-in-Beverly Hills story:

Subject: john edwards

Hey bloggers,

There has been a little buzz surrounding John Edwards and his alleged affair. Because the only source has been the National Enquirer we have decided not to cover the rumors or salacious speculations. So I am asking you all not to blog about this topic until further notified.
If you have any questions or are ever in need of story ideas that would best fit your blog, please don't hesitate to ask

Keep rockin,
Tony

Before the memo landed, the Opinion department blog did go there. Not clear if Opinion would pay heed anyway. None of the Times bloggers report to Pierce, I don't think, but his bosses are part of the news side. Opinion reports to the editor of the editorial pages, who reports directly to the publisher. Oops, both those positions are open. Via Romenesko

* Update: Executive editor Meredith Artley of the Times website follows up in an email to Times bloggers after the jump:

From: Artley, Meredith
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 11:59 AM
Subject: Hubbub

Hi everyone. Many of you have probably seen the Slate item titled ďLAT Gags BlogsĒ citing Tonyís note asking you all to steer clear of the alleged Edwards affair. Itís now linked to from Drudge, and Gawker has an item too.

In the spirit of transparency I want to give some background on this, and to note how in hindsight we might have done things differently to avoid the discontent that led to yet another public poke in the eye.

Various colleagues on the 3rd floor have been working on reporting the story. I made the decision that while we are working on verifying if this has any truth to it, we should stay away from joining the fray. We still donít know that, and national and metro are still pursuing.

Our message to you (I asked Tony to drop you guys the note) should have been more nuanced. I should have first not encouraged posting on this topic, but if any of you feel that you have a post you really to write, to please discuss it with Tony and myself first since we must always tread carefully on unverified stories. And I should have explained the thinking behind that decision. The idea was not to muzzle any of you and then walk away Ė that is never a recipe for success.

Russ, myself, Tony and all the editors you work with trust you guys to engage us in open and frank dialogue on just about anything thatís on your mind, and weíll do the same. You have our confidence and we expect the same. We have a strong network thanks to all of the thoughts that many of you have shared, creating better blogs, growing the readership, and staying focused on the work and not the drama. Letís keep that up and settle for nothing less.

Questions, thoughts, etc? Ask me or Tony.

Meredith Artley
Executive Editor, LATimes.com


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