NY Times offers explanation for controversial Lolo Jones story

A story in Sunday’s New York Times ripped the U.S. athlete, causing a uproar to which the paper’s public editor has responded, calling the piece ‘harsh.’

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It’s not apologizing for what many people have called a “hit job” on the U.S. Olympian, but the paper’s public editor has conceded that the story by Jere Longman was “particularly harsh, even unnecessarily so.”

“I believe writers like Jere Longman, who does have a long and worthy track record at the Times, should have some room to express their hard-earned perspective,” Public Editor Arthur S. Brisbane said in a blog post. “But this piece struck me as quite harsh and left me, along with others, wondering why the tone was so strong.”

The bulk of Brisbane’s post is the email response he’s offered to the many people who have written to the Times complaining about the article. According to Brisbane, Longman’s story was a point-of-view piece, meaning he could infuse his own perspective.

In the story, Longman attacks Jones, insisting that her slim chances of winning a medal at the London Games don’t warrant the attention heaped upon her by marketers and the media.

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