But with that access came one major condition.
Like other journalists who write about Washington and presidential politics, Mr. Lewis said that he had to submit to the widespread but rarely disclosed practice of quote approval.
During a discussion at Lincoln Center on Monday night with Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, Mr. Lewis volunteered to the audience that as a condition of cooperating with his story, the White House insisted on signing off on the quotes that would appear.
Look, I love Lewis, I loved Moneyball, but he did not actually have to do this. He could have said fuck you. He would have lost the story, and that would have been the deal, but my problem here isn’t what he did or didn’t do to get what he did or didn’t get.
It’s the Times using terminology that implies that this is just the cost of doing business these days and whaddyagonna do? These things are decisions that are made, not inevitabilities.