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NYT buries lede on NBC/Mitchell/Greenspan

In today's New York Times, NBC News president Steve Capus says, basically, that Columbia Journalism Review's Megan Garber got it wrong on perils of having Andrea Mitchell--wife of former Fed chair Alan Greenspan--cover the financial crisis:

Steve Capus...called [CJR's] article “overly simplistic.” The news division has allowed Ms. Mitchell to continue covering the presidential election, even when the candidates have debated the financial crisis, and has decided on a day-by-day basis what stories are not appropriate for her to cover.

“To me it’s a pretty easy balancing act,” Mr. Capus said in an interview Sunday. “She knows where to draw the line.”

However, what comes next suggests that NBC is changing its policy on what Mitchell can and can't cover:

That line, NBC has decided, exists when past economic decisions are being re-examined. The fiscal policies championed by Mr. Greenspan, who retired in January 2006, have come under scrutiny in recent weeks.

“In any stories that look in the rearview mirror of how we got to this point, Greenspan’s name will come up,” Mr. Capus said, and Ms. Mitchell would not be the appropriate correspondent for the assignment.

Of course--and as I noted in a recent column--that that's precisely the sort of story that Garber singled out as problematic in her CJR piece.

In short: don't buy NBC's spin. Capus may not want to admit it, but the policy he describes sounds like a de facto admission that Garber was correct.

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