A New York Daily News photographer alleged on Friday that the New York Times has paid for sources in the Secret Service prostitution scandal — a charge heatedly denied by the Times.
The Times has been getting a series of scoops in the ever-widening scandal. On Thursday, it published the first interview with one of the escorts involved in the affair. (The Daily News later released photos of what it said was the same woman.)
But on Friday morning, Daily News photographer Todd Maisel, who has also been in Colombia tracking the scandal, charged that the Times' scoops have resulted not from shoe-leather reporting, but from checkbook journalism.
"NY Times still has key players locked up. Money talks," he tweeted. That tweet was later removed:
It is a major taboo to pay for stories in American newspapers, and the Times struck back aggressively.
"The accusation made by this Daily News photographer is offensive and utterly false," spokesperson Eileen Murphy told Politico. "The New York Times paid nothing for interviews on this story."
Maisel released another provocative tweet about the flap. "Working with local media we were able to get contact for cartagena hooker attorney working with [ny] times to hide her," he wrote on Friday.
Two hours later, though, he wrote, "my opinions are my opinions alone and not that of the Daily News."