The NYT’s executive editor Bill Keller admits (queue to 42:13) that he uses their front page to retaliate for criticism:
Question: When they jam the ref as they did with you; when McCain’s people complain and attack the Times, does that have any impact on you?
Bill Keller: My first reaction when they do that is to say, what’s the toughest McCain piece we’ve got and let’s put it on the front page tomorrow, just to show them that they’re not going to get away with that.
(Via the Corner.)
Interestingly, although the NYT’s ethics policy does forbid retaliating against uncooperative sources, it does not appear to forbid retaliating against news figures that criticize the Times. I guess that makes it okay.
UPDATE: The preceding exchange was interesting too (queue to 40:16). In it, Bill Keller argues that the NYT has done more tough pieces on Obama than McCain, but admits that they were in the “early spring”, before the nominees were decided. (That is, back when they didn’t matter. Or, more cynically, back when they served to ease the path for Hillary Clinton, the then-inevitable Democratic nominee. Also, back when McCain was the left’s preferred Republican candidate.) Keller says that they are planning to run a special section reprising their earlier reporting on Obama. Even if they actually do so (most likely on November 5), that’s a poor substitute for running new stories on matters that have surfaced since the spring.