The New York Times distinguished itself on several fronts this morning. In its lead story by Elizabeth Bumiller and Philip Shenon the Times presents a comprehensive look at the White House’s Friday night data dump of all documents from the President’s National Guard files. The article notes that “The only document in the two-inch-thick stack that puts Mr. Bush in Alabama in that period is a document that the White House released on Wednesday, a copy of a dental exam performed at Dannelly Air National Guard base in Montgomery on Jan. 6, 1973.”

A second story by Michael Janofsky shoots down the doctored photo that has circulated on the internet this week of John Kerry at a podium with Jane Fonda. As has been noted on several blogs, the picture is a hoax and Corbis, the agency which owns the original photo, disavowed the fake to the Times.

Deep inside a story on Clark endorsing Kerry, the Times comes up with its own way to reference the charge posted by Matt Drudge on Thursday that the senator had an extramarital affair with a young woman. The newspaper handles that issue by noting that Kerry denied the report Friday morning on the “Imus in the Morning” radio show.

Finally, on page 16, the Times’ Joel Brinkley summarizes the simmering accusations and investigations surrounding Halliburton’s numerous contracts to help rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure. At a time when Kerry is charging that Halliburton has “defrauded” the federal government and Halliburton itself, in a filing with the SEC, is acknowledging that it is under “intense scrutiny,” it’s reassuring to see that at least one newspaper is writing about something other than Bush’s 1973 whereabouts or Kerry’s 2001 sex life.

—S.L.

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Steve Lovelady was editor of CJR Daily.