That's Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. and there are rumors of an affair with him and Sweet Caroline
A post today at Gawker.com, the media gossip website, repeats the rumor it first published several months ago -- that Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. may be romantically involved with Caroline Kennedy -- and argues that it's "a mostly legitimate question to ask."
Today's Gawker post by Alex Pareene reports that the Times City Room blog rebuffed a request from "this guy" who attempted to post the following comment on its website:
Will the Times report on the public gossip that CKS is having an extramarital affair with the publisher of the Times? It's very relevant that someone who wants one of the highest political offices in the state is in a romantic relationship with the publisher of the most influential newspaper in the state. Since Paterson had to answer questions about his marriage, it doesn't seem out of bounds to ask CKS about hers.
The Times blog sent the request back with this response:
please don't repost comments; we don't report stuff like this, regardless of people involved. Paterson called a news conference.
A brusque and too-general answer, but the Times was right not to post the question. Rumors of a romantic relationship between Sulzberger and Kennedy don't fall under the umbrella of the public's right to know.
Pareene concluded his post by saying: "The Times certainly does report on the sexual lives of public figures, all the damn time, from Giuliani to Spitzer to Paterson. But reporting on the Sulzbergers not so much."
What is Pareene talking about? The Times wasn't covering the sex lives of those men; it was covering their public statements, their political activities, or their possible violation of laws.
The Times's coverage of the Spitzer scandal grew out of a criminal investigation related to sex, not the act itself. Paterson raised the matter of his sexual indiscretions on his own; the Times only reported on his statements, it didn't investigate his private life. The Times's interest in Giuliani's personal life only extended to how it affected his political career, or issues of favoritism.
And does Pareene really think it appropriate, or logical, that the Times report on its publisher's sex life? Does Gawker cover Nick Denton's sex life? Come on.
Gawker has been subtly peddling the unsubstantiated Kennedy-Sulzberger rumor since last spring. The smear campaign began with this blind item by Nick Denton on May 21:
Which recently separated newspaper publisher has been seen regularly in the company of a woman from an even more famous dynasty? They're longstanding friends; she's still married; and she's too preoccupied with an illness in the family to think about the future. But that hasn't stopped the speculation. (Okay, so the newly separated newspaper publisher is pretty obvious: the New York Times' moose-loving Arthur Sulzberger. But the identity of his supposed lover is a surprise.)