On the fifth day of speculation over a rumored New York Times career-ending scoop on New York governor David Paterson, the paper has yet to drop the actual story. That's done nothing to quell the buzz. Gossipy opinion makers have filled in the gap with their own speculation on what "the bombshell" could be--while even the Republican gubernatorial candidate has called on the Times to deliver the story or stop its "psychological warfare." A sampling:
- Something 'PG-13, not XXX,' a source tells New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman, who dutifully reports it.
- No Story--It's a Washington Conspiracy "Some New York political operatives," says Salon's Mike Madden, "think the gossip is coming from Washington, in an attempt to get Paterson out of the race altogether."
- Madlib Political Sex Scandal Newser's Michael Wolff is definitely going with the sex scandal rumor, but adds that "it may be that we don't even need an actual story, that having had so many stories about politicians' sex lives, we can all fill in the blanks."
- 'Naughtiness in a Closet,' Possibly Drugs This was the New York Post claim, which Governor Paterson rebutted. Gawker's Ravi Somaiya grins at the rebuttal: "He ... said that the sexy closet in mentioned in the Post story did not exist. To which the paper's editor Col Allan responded, reasonably, that the mansion must have closets." Somaiya's colleague Alex Pareene notes that rumors of Paterson and his wife being swingers have been around for a while, and that even this banal fare would be worth it: "If that is what the Times is working on, all we can say is we look forward to reading them attempt to describe the practice in the house style."
- 'He's Not Really Blind,' suggests a Gawker reader--Gawker has been all over the hype, with Foster Kamer collecting the best reader suggestions: "'He's a hardcore Warcraft player who got a little too into erotic role playing as a female blood elf mage." A mockery of New York Times buzz: "Basically it's that he is actually a Belgian-born white dude named Tim Kimberly and he was once a paid assassin for Opus Dei."