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The @nytimes writer threatening to dox Scott Alexander for no apparent reason reached out to me earlier this month — and offered to keep identity out of the story if I would talk to him about Scott.

Twice. Without my ever requesting it.
These folks know that many of us have something to lose if they're not kept anon/pseudonymous. It's the first thing they'll offer you. The issue here is entirely about leverage. Scott, being a much nicer person than I am, likely assumed his safety would be the priority issue.
The truth is that Scott could probably have bargained for his privacy in advance if it had ever even occurred to him that Cade would put mentally ill patients at risk just to appear thorough. I really don't think it would ever have occurred to Scott that he'd need to do this.
Scott actually did ask right away, apparently. Whoever Cade consulted with on the editorial staff was apparently aware of Scott's very serious concerns and was willing to discard the interview with the subject himself just to keep the name on.
I'm with Kelsey — this is just confusing. I don't see how it isn't completely irrational to drop the key interview just to personally destroy your subject. The NYT really has gone totally haywire.
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