TNR is arguing that the coverage of the false "Bush was AWOL" story vs the non-coverage of the possibly false Kerry adultery story is a demonstration that the press is trying to be "scrupulously honest". How can the facts possibly begin to support this spin, you say? Well, according to the author, Ryan Lizza, the only reason that the AWOL story was run was because it was being talked about by Clark and other major Democratic figures, while the Republicans have been silent on the Kerry story.
That might almost sound plausable if you didn't know any of the facts surrounding either story.
First off, the AWOL story was discussed in major media outlets (the NY Times and Boston Globe, at the very least) in the 2000 campaign. As this was obviously several years before Moore's statements, that pretty much explodes the TNR story from that end.
From the other end, from all indications, the Kerry story seems to have originated from ... the Clark campaign; and not just over-eager staffers, but Clark himself participated. So how can you argue that the AWOL story should be covered because it was being discussed by a major Democratic candidate, but NOT cover the Kerry adultery story even though it was being shopped around by the exact same person?
Sorry, but that dog won't hunt.