More importantly, did the NYT deliberately not report it?
The Emperor's New Hump via MetaFilter
This was an issue mostly discussed online, immediately after the debates, and it ranged from reserved, sober speculation to the far-left "tinfoil hat" conspiracy theorist craziness. While I tend to be pretty cynical, I felt that I shouldn't judge either way at the time.
The fact that NYT didn't report it bothers me greatly. The idea of a "free" press in this country is incorrect. There is none, at least in terms of major media outlets.