'Republic of Fear'

Raines Team Consolidates on 43rd Street

Asked if Golden's work was "reckless," Landman told the Voice, "I think Tim's a great reporter. His stuff on Torricelli held up brilliantly. There's nothing reckless about it." He declined to comment on internal disputes. Golden and Kocieniewski declined to comment.

Adding insult to injury, someone else got the scoop. On September 26, after some of the Times pieces were spiked, WNBC ran a special Torricelli report by Jonathan Dienst, featuring a jailhouse interview with Chang and an inventory of evidence. According to someone close to the Torricelli case, key sources tired of waiting for the Times to use their info, so they turned it over to WNBC. Four days after the WNBC report aired, Torricelli pulled out of the race, expressly to avoid further harm to the party. It seems likely that the Times, not WNBC, would have delivered Torricelli's coup de grâce—had Raines not killed key stories in the heat of the election campaign.

Frantz recently gave Golden a major investigative assignment. But when Frantz quit, Golden was pulled off the assignment and asked to do other work, to "prove himself" in some daily-news capacity. Sources say this fuck-you was the final straw that prompted Golden to quit.

Life goes on. Frantz's deputy, former UN bureau chief Julia Preston, is a candidate for the job of investigations editor. Preston is smart and talented, colleagues say, but her background is in hard news, not investigative reporting.


cc@villagevoice.com

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