What is perhaps most shocking about the arrangement between Kennedy and Krock was how open and unashamed it was. Interestingly, no mention of Kennedy’s relationship with Krock was made in either of the two reviews published of Nasaw’s biography in the Paper of Record. The Times has repeatedly expressed its regret over its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Joseph Stalin by the notorious liar, Walter Duranty, during the 1930s, once it was revealed just how compromised his reporting had been. Perhaps, in light of the evidence turned up by Nasaw, another such statement of regret—if not apology—regarding Krock’s coverage of Kennedy-related matters might also be order.

It goes without saying that much has changed about the mores of journalism. Today’s top journalists have their own arrangements, of course. When, in the opening of the new Netflix series, House of Cards, an ambitious young female reporter offers the Speaker of the House a deal in which she promises to print whatever he wants her to print, the way he wants her to print it, no questions asked—all the while revealing more and more of her impressive cleavage—the notion that such a conversation might actually take place did not exactly strain credulity. We are, thankfully, through with the Arthur Krocks of the journalistic world. Whether we are really through with the kind of journalism they produced is a question for another essay.
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Eric Alterman is distinguished professor of English and journalism at Brooklyn College and the CUNY School of Journalism. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a columnist for The Nation and the Forward. His most recent book is The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama.