“I think there’s always a nervousness that we’re going to miss a story,” Zernike continued. “If this thing happening in Lower Manhattan is going to become a big deal, we don’t want to be accused of missing it.”

What about Brisbane’s accusation that Occupy became a “cause” among Times journalists? Zernike disagreed, saying, without elaborating, “I think people were a little more careful than he’s giving them credit for.”

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Jared Malsin is a freelance journalist based in Cairo