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Iseman Drops $27M Lawsuit Against NYT

Lobbyist Vicki Iseman has dropped her $27 million lawsuit against the NYTimes just weeks after it was filed. In a memo to staff, Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet says, “We paid no money. We did not apologize. We did not retract one word of the story, which was a compelling chapter in the tale of Senator John McCain and his political rise.”

Here’s the NYTimes article that started it all, and Baquet’s full memo after the jump.

To the staff,

Vicki Iseman has dropped her lawsuit against The Times, just weeks after it was filed. We paid no money. We did not apologize. We did not retract one word of the story, which was a compelling chapter in the tale of Senator John McCain and his political rise.

The story stands as a powerful examination of a presidential candidate who cast himself as an ethics reformer and scourge of special interests, yet seemed blind at times over the course of his career to appearances of conflicts of interest.

The article was the result of deep reporting, dozens of interviews and an abundance of caution. I am as proud now of the work of the reporters — David Kirkpatrick, Jim Rutenberg, Stephen Labaton, and Marilyn Thompson — as I was the day it ran.

In Friday’s paper we are publishing a note to readers that repeats what we had already said in countless interviews, that the article did not state or intend to conclude that Ms. Iseman had engaged in a romantic relationship with Mr. McCain.

We let Ms. Iseman’s lawyers have their say in a commentary on the Web, with a response from Bill Keller. Why? Because that’s what we do. We let people we write about have their say.

Dean Baquet

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