In the midst of a whole lot of hoopla about USA Today's NSA phone records story, Editor & Publisher asks the newspaper's founder and columnist Al Neuharth for his response. He stressed that the type of pushback the story is seeing now in the form of denials from phone companies is nothing novel in the world of enterprise reporting:
"Any time that a major company or the government is the subject of a story that is somewhat unfavorable, that is the reaction," Neuharth told E&P Wednesday via cell phone from Minnesota, where he was driving to a newspaper association conference. "It is part of the game that they play. It doesn't matter who broke the story, if those stories cast a unit of the government or a business in a bad light that is what happens."
He added that it "should not deter" USA Today from pursing the story or proving it is correct. "I hope and expect that USA Today is on solid ground," he said. "I can't comment on how it was handled because I wasn't there."