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With Friends Like The New York Times, Who Need Enemas?

My, how fickle the Gray Lady can be.

A little over a month ago, the New York Times endorsed John McCain for president. Of course, the primary reasons they gave for that boiled down to "he's not George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, or Mike Huckabee," but it was an endorsement nonetheless.

Now, barely a month later, they drop the bomb on their guy: he had an affair with a lobbyist.

Well, that's how it's being played out. The actual allegation: a couple of disgruntled former low-level staffers were concerned that McCain might be appearing to be too friendly with a certain female lobbyist, and warned him to cool things before people started suspecting there was something improper going on.

No admission from McCain.

No admission from the lobbyist.

No confirmation from a source willing to go on the record.

No actual accusation from even their unnamed sources.

Actual denials from staffers who say that the details of the allegations simply don't make any sense.

In fact, there's one McCain former staffer who notes that the New York Times' story might be based not on the word of former McCain staffers, but other lobbyists.

So, what does the Paper Of Record's story boil down to:

About the same level of credibility as the rumors that John Edwards had knocked up a filmmaker or Hillary Clinton's having an affair with her (female and Muslim) top aide.

But remember the double standard: if the accusation is against Democrats, they never claim to be the "party of morality and family values," so it really doesn't count. But if it's a Republican, then there's the whole "hypocrisy" angle that adds about 70% to the weight of the accusation, and scurrilous rumor, unfounded gossip, and sources who won't go on the record with even vague accusations merit publication.

For all I know, McCain was boinking this lobbyist every night and twice on Sunday. Or not. One certainly can't make any judgments based solely on the New York Times' account -- it's absolutely vacant of actual facts.

But somehow it was worthy of publishing in the Paper Of Record, and it certainly qualifies as "All The News That's Fit To Print."

If only there was a way for the American people to sue the New York Times for malpractice.


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Comments (31)

Well, the Weekly World News... (Below threshold)

Well, the Weekly World News stopped publishing - think the NYTimes is trying for that specific segment of the 'news'-reading population?

What's next? Space Aliens advising the candidates?

This is not about an "affai... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

This is not about an "affair". Probably did not happen.
It has to do with letters McCain sent to the FCC to benefit this person. McCain has pretended his past demonstrates he is a "straight shooter"
Do Republicans really think the Keating 5 will not be an issue?
Mitt would have been the strongest candidate.
But now Republicans are stuck with McCain just as Dems were stuck with Kerry.

I know from reading here the rational distrust of McCain. And yes McCain did have an affair with his currant wife while still married.
I don't care about that.
What will bring McCain and Republican's down in November is McCain sucking up to Bush in 2004.
What will bring McCain down is an old man against a youthful Obama.
What will bring McCain down is that color terrorist alerts around election time won't work this time.
There is no enthusiasm from the Republican Party this time..and no Clinton will not be the nominee.
A cheap shot? Probably..
But disabled vets like myself clearly remember the purple band-aids being worn on the floor of the 2004 Republican Convention by folks who never served let alone were injured in combat.

You folks have Fox..we have the Times
Buckle-up!

If it is true that McCain t... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

If it is true that McCain traded sexual favors for legislative actions he might just yet solidify his standings with the conservative right-wing of the republican party.

For republicans nothing says "One of US" faster than cheating on your wife and corruption.

nogo, on January 19, you <a... (Below threshold)

nogo, on January 19, you posted a comment, one part I'm excerpting:

good news..I am leaving here.. cause I see the fucking hypocritical bullshit.. please,,,ban me........

Since then, you've repeatedly commented and refused to acknowledge your vow to leave.

So I'm going to grant your request: you're now banned.

Enjoy your life away from Wizbang.

J.

This is a big fat "told you... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

This is a big fat "told you so" to McCain and all sycophantic supporters like david brooks and bill kristol etc...

We told you McCain was going to be attacked just like any other candidate. The NYT and other news outfits weren't endorsing him because they like him, they endorsed him so they could get some libs to cross over and vote for him in key primary states. The media built our candidate, and today is the day where they start tearing him down. Notice how the coverage of him changed as soon as romney dropped out? It slowly gets dirtier and muckier as it appears more and more likely that he will be our nominee. It is completely certain he is our nominee now, so why not drop it? There's always going to be that cloud over his head. Not that conservatives needed more of a reason to dislike the guy.

I could care less whether he had any extra-marital affairs, since i'm not voting for him either way, but i think the point needs to be made that no republican candidate was going to be immune from this kind of coverage, and we picked the weakest guy to deal with it. Now all of a sudden McCain's buddies on the left don't seem so eager to work with him do they? Nobody on the left wants him, and nobody on the right wants him. He better invest in some of that Obama Hope (tm) in the fact that he's looking strictly at independents and moderates to win this one for him.

"For Republicans nothing... (Below threshold)
914:

"For Republicans nothing says "One of Us" faster than cheatin on your wife and corruption."

So Barney your saying that the Democrats in D.C. are really Republicans?

Close, Barney, but rather i... (Below threshold)

Close, Barney, but rather it'll increase his crossover appeal. After all, the Democrats are the party of Jim McGreevy, Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, Mel Reynolds, Jesse Jackson, and so on. I think it'll help sew up his support on the left.

J.

Actually, they endorsed McC... (Below threshold)
max:

Actually, they endorsed McCain for the Republican nomination, not President. Not an insignificant distinction. Regardless, this is a bullshit story and I predict it will be forgotten about by next week. A much more damaging story is his blatant hipocrisy concerning public campaign financing.

"But remember the double standard: if the accusation is against Democrats, they never claim to be the 'party of morality and family values,' so it really doesn't count." Really? I think Bill Clinton might disagree.

It is funny what McCain may... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

It is funny what McCain may or may not have done 8 years ago is news yet when Willy Jeff was at his peak of dating outside his marriage, which is probably still going on, there is nothing to write about. Barney do you need my proof that you are a hypocrate? Just like the rest of your sickened ilk?

Do Republicans really... (Below threshold)

Do Republicans really think the Keating 5 will not be an issue?

Among the Republicans who remember what actually happened it will make not a bit of difference.

I'm a "hold your nose" McCain supporter, but remember Lincoln Savings well. McCain was dragged into that to provide cover to the four hypocrite Democrats that had sold their soul to Keating, while demagoguing the S&L greed of the time. In my mind,of John McCain's many political blunders, The Keating Five is a misnomer: it should be the Democrat Keating Four

After all, the Democrats... (Below threshold)
Brian:

After all, the Democrats are the party of Jim McGreevy, Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, Mel Reynolds, Jesse Jackson, and so on.

And the Republicans are the party of Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain again (in 1979), David Vitter, Don Sherwood, Henry Hyde, Bob Livingston, John Warner, Dan Burton, Bob Barr, Bob Allen, Steven LaTourette, Ken Calvert, and so on. Did you have a point?

No confirmation from a s... (Below threshold)
Brian:

No confirmation from a source willing to go on the record.

Not quite.

Separately, a top McCain aide met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station in Washington to ask her to stay away from the senator. John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said in an e-mail message that he arranged the meeting after "a discussion among the campaign leadership" about her.
About as much of a point as... (Below threshold)

About as much of a point as you did, Brian.

I'm just willing to admit it.

oh, and it's turning out that the NYT not only ignored parts of the "incriminating" letters that didn't serve their purpose, but scads of other cases where McCain did NOT help out the lobbyist's clients. Also, the one named source has come out and said that his involvement was ONLY to tell the lobbyist "stop going around talking about how much influence you have over McCain or we'll freeze you out entirely" -- NOT exactly the kind of thing that one says to the boss's girlfriend.

I'm sorry for bringing actual facts to the argument, Brian. It's a bad habit of mine.

Oh, and I'm sorry I mistook you for Ryan earlier. You trolls tend to sound alike, especially when you have similar names.

J.

All I can say is....<... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

All I can say is....

"Fake, but accurate"

I'm sorry for bringing a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I'm sorry for bringing actual facts to the argument, Brian. It's a bad habit of mine.

No, the bad habit is that the few times you actually do bring facts to an argument, it's a different argument. Such as "pointing out cases where McCain did not help out the lobbyist's clients" as an explanation for why a list of unfaithful Democrats helps your position.

the 1500 word response from... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

the 1500 word response from the McCain campaign.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8616.html

Then, perhaps, you'll recal... (Below threshold)

Then, perhaps, you'll recall that you brought up politicians trading sexual favors for political favors. I was just giving you a few examples.

Sorry I actually answered your laughing-called "point."

J.

Gee, looks like the NYT int... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Gee, looks like the NYT intentionally misrepresentd Weaver's statements to them on the matter... Seems to me there's a word used to describe people who make such misrepresentations...

Oh yeah..

LIAR is the word I'm looking for.

If only there was a w... (Below threshold)

If only there was a way for the American people to sue the New York Times for malpractice.

Therein lies much of the problem with the MSM. Sullivan was not only a significant legal precedent, but essentially a free pass to most of the Old Media when it comes to lying, forgery, dissembling and just making things up. Judicial relief may not have been forthcoming, but technology and the market have extracted a greater economic penalty than General Westmoreland could have dreamed of.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/charts/chartdl.aspx?D4=1&ViewType=0&ComparisonsForm=1&D5=0&CE=0&Symbol=NYT&ShowChtBt=Refresh+Chart&DateRangeForm=1&D3=0&C9=2&DisplayForm=1&CP=0&PT=11

It appears that the rise of the new media plots inversely to the stock price of the Times...


The NEW YORK SLIMES ALL THE... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

The NEW YORK SLIMES ALL THE SEWAGE THATS FIT TO PRINT

For all I know, McCain w... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

For all I know, McCain was boinking this lobbyist every night and twice on Sunday. Or not. One certainly can't make any judgments based solely on the New York Times' account -- it's absolutely vacant of actual facts.

You know, this is the part of the whole political process that I care less about. Yes, I know that we all care about integrity and character, but when the reporters start digging deep to find any kind of past behavior that they can use to destroy politicians, well, it all seems to really spin out of control.

At some point these things are not my business--whether it has to do with the personal life of McCain, Obama, Bill Clinton, or whoever.

I care less about their personal lives than I do about their political and public record. But maybe that's just me.

I understand that granting favors to a lobbyist is a big deal, but the NYT should at least have something very substantial before making these 'shocking' declarations--because it's a lot more difficult to rectify these kinds of things once they have been on the front page for a few weeks.

The ultimate irony is the fact that many of us Americans could hardly stand up to the scrutiny that we place upon these public figures. It all gets pretty ridiculous. We hold these people to standards that most of us could NEVER attain, and pretend that we are being reasonable in selecting our political leaders.

Ok, I have"No admi... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Ok, I have

"No admission"
"No confirmation from a source willing to go on the record."
"No actual accusation from my unnamed source."

But the story is the people who run the NYT are cross dressing drug users, who are actually spies for a foreign government.

How do ya like them apples?

Since then, you've repea... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Since then, you've repeatedly commented and refused to acknowledge your vow to leave.
So I'm going to grant your request: you're now banned.

And the Mighty Hammer falls.

About time.

I am glad the New York Slim... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I am glad the New York Slime ran this story. Nothing, nothing will mobilize the conservative base more then crap like this. I hope the democrats keep pouring it on. It looks unseemly because it is unseemly. Please, lefties, keep it up. ww

Brian, how about the two pa... (Below threshold)

Brian, how about the two paragraphs after that quote?

"Our political messaging during that time period centered around taking on the special interests and placing the nation's interests before either personal or special interest," Mr. Weaver continued. "Ms. Iseman's involvement in the campaign, it was felt by us, could undermine that effort."


Mr. Weaver added that the brief conversation was only about "her conduct and what she allegedly had told people, which made its way back to us." He declined to elaborate.

The only person named made no intimations about a sexual affair.

Give us a name who implied they were romantically involved.

The New York Times is complicit in the effort to dumb down politics and feed the thirst for salacious commentary every day. And Jay, you'll be happy for this one:

From P. J. O'Rourke's Parliament of Whores:

We wanted a lo-cal, polyunsaturated, salt-free election slate. Otherwise, we wouldn't have been out on the lawn rolling in every stinky detail of the candidates' lives. We didn't even try to get the presidential wannabes to tell us what they meant or what they'd do. Instead, we spent election year peeking down Donna Rice's bathing suit, poking Bob Dole's war wound, trying to get Jesse Jackson to say "hymie" again, trading locker-room stories about Jack Kemp and waiting for Kitty Dukakis to explode. Every person in America has done or said something that would keep him or her from being president. Maybe a nation that consumes as much booze and dope as we do and has our kind of divorce statistics should pipe down about "character issues." Either that or just go ahead and determine the presidency with three-legged races and pie eating contests. It would make better TV.

My point here is that if the New York Times wants to drag the election down to National Enquirer status, maybe they should go ahead and start consulting with the National Enquirer's lawyers on how far they can go before slander becomes an issue and market it at the checkout lines at the grocery store. It could save them financially.

This is salacious gutter-talk - Look! McCain was seen being friendly to someone of the other sex who is not his wife! Are they having an affair!!??

This can be discussed rationally - Look! McCain was seen being friendly to a lobbyist eight years ago! Doesn't that conflict with his claim to take on the lobbyists?

What did the NYT go with? The gutter-talk. They never gave the scurrilous rumor of a Hillary affair with Huma Abedin the dignity of a response. And I think ignoring it was the right thing to do. But then they'll go and print this unsubstantiated garbage?

You folks have Fox... (Below threshold)
You folks have Fox..we have the Times

Wow. I don't think I've ever heard a moonbat actually admit that the NY Times is in the tank for the Democrats.

It is amazing how uncurious... (Below threshold)
Sharon:

It is amazing how uncurious the NYTimes is about people like Murtha and Mollohan whose earmarks can be directly traced back to donations to their campaigns or the employment of relatives yet they can go after a senator who has completely abjured earmarks. The letter McCain sent to the FCC was a bout them making a decision one way or another, not directing the decision in favor of a certain lobbyist. Even Lanny Davis who was a lobbyist at the time stated the letter was not supporting a particular point of view. So, what is the point about trying to make this into some kind of quid pro quo for a special relationship that may or may not have existed. It is a phony excuse to put unfounded rumors into the public arena.

you'll recall that you b... (Below threshold)
Brian:

you'll recall that you brought up politicians trading sexual favors for political favors

I did? Where?

OK, I really need to make B... (Below threshold)

OK, I really need to make Brian and BarneyG (alias Tweedledum and Tweedledummer) wear bells or something. It's like a tag-team of twittery.

Does anyone else find their asshattery as interchangeable as I do?

J.

I'll take that as a retract... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I'll take that as a retraction of your previous statement.

Barney, notice how it's a r... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

Barney, notice how it's a resume enhancement for a Democrat is proven to cheat on their spouse, but it's sheer treachery if it is merely alleged of a Republican.

I'm not backing McCain here by any stretch of the imagination, but the point is that there is a huge double standard when reporting on repubs and dems.

The NYT doesn't deserve blame though, it is to be expected from them since they engage in this behavior so regularly. Not to mention anyone with half a brain could see the hit pieces being lined up as soon as McCain became a serious contender.




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