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Rohde Kidnapping: Was The NYT Ready to Pay $5M Ransom?

For seven months, NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller remained quiet about the Taliban kidnapping of reporter David Rohde in Pakistan.

But it wasn’t just the NYT — at least 40 major news organizations helped maintain the silence, according to WaPo. Per the advice of government experts and experienced media peers, Keller decided not go public with the story until Saturday June 20, 2009 when the NYT confirmed that Rohde had “escaped his captors.”

But did Rohde really “escape?” CQ’s Jeff Stein reports that a source close to the ordeal says that the NYT was prepared to pay a $5 million ransom for Rohde’s return. Though Keller denies paying any ransom, Stein’s source says the circumstances “sound fishy.”

Read more about Keller, Rohde and the ransom at CQ here.

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