07/11/2008 12:50 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Did The New York Times Trick a Source?

The otherwise spellbinding New York Times expose of Rep. Charles Rangel's abuse of New York's system of rent-stabilized apartments, contains this Intriguing Offhand Remark:

"Whether it's an elected official or not, no one should have four apartments, especially when one is being used as an office," said Michael McKee, treasurer of the Tenants Political Action Committee, who was not aware of Mr. Rangel's situation when he was interviewed.

What exactly does that mean? Did the reporter, not wanting to ruin the paper's scoop, say to Mr. McKee, "What would you say about an elected official who had four rent-stabilized apartments?" without mentioning Rangel's name? Does the paper make a habit of obfuscation with sources? Do they feel acknowledging their deception makes it OK? Or is it OK? Oh Mr. Romenesko...