by Cathy Resmer
For those of you who, like me, just can't get enough of this story — Dirk Van Susteren responds to the Associated Press' claim that Graff was canned in part for allowing AP reporter David Gram to participate in a Dean bio. Van Susteren, editor the RH/TA Vermont Sunday Magazine, edited the book in question.
At our first meeting at the Capital Grounds coffee house in Montpelier,on a morning in August of 2003, Gram said to me point blank that hewould only participate if I could assure him we would meet AP'sstandards of impartiality. I gave him that assurance, and he passedthat on to Graff and was granted permission to participate in theproject.
I know little about the AP's freelance policy; I don'tknow if Graff needed to go up the AP chain of bureaucratic command toget permission to allow Gram's participation. But I strongly believethat both Gram, and Graff, made a good-faith effort toward a worthyjournalistic goal. And for that, at least, the two should have beencommended, not condemned.