Conffederate
Confederate

February 21, 2008

Not Even Blog-Worthy

It seems like everyone is talking this morning about this New York Times article about John McCain.

The heart of the Times article states only:

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client's corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself instructing staff members to block the woman's access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

Why were these staffers "convinced the relationship had become romantic"?

Did they see McCain and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, in a sexually-suggestive or compromising position?

Was there any physical evidence of a "romantic" relationship?

Did either McCain or Iseman tell anyone that they were involved in such a relationship?

The four NY Times journalists that share the byline on this story—Jim Rutenberg, Marilyn W. Thompson, David D. Kirkpatrick, and Stephen Lebaton— do not provide answers to any of these basic journalistic questions. They failed to do their jobs.

This is not a news story, it is an extended insinuation. At best, it is half-formed journalism. At worst, it is naked, partisan advocacy.

If presented with the thin claims published in this Times story, many of the more credible bloggers, regardless of political affiliation, would have passed on publishing this story. They've worked too hard and too long to build their reader base and establish their credibility as citizen-journalists.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr, publisher of the Times, apparently has no such qualms about risking the reputation of the newspaper grown to prominence by previous generations of his family. It is easy for him to squander what he himself did not earn, but then, we knew that a MoveOn.org discount ago.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 21, 2008 10:12 AM
Comments

Did the Times run with the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter story? Are they running with the Barack Obama/Larry Sinclair story? No. But they'll run with this big pile of nothing.

And they put it on the front page, above the fold, as if this is the most important news story of the day. Why anyone bothers to pick that rag up anymore is beyond me.

Posted by: Pablo at February 21, 2008 10:18 AM

"The NYT" has turned into "The National Enquirer."

Posted by: The Fastest Squirrel at February 21, 2008 02:23 PM

Why is anyone surprised at this? When is the Republican party going to get it through their thick heads that no matter how much they cuddle up to the leftist media in this country, when it's expedient to do so, the media is going to stick it to them?

Posted by: Conservative CBU at February 21, 2008 03:05 PM

Fox: Yep- John Dillinger.

Posted by: DaveP. at February 21, 2008 03:10 PM

I'm opening book on the following related to this story:
1) A certain "little blue dress" equivalent will be 'shown' as evidence. (10-1)
2) John McCain will be forced to define the word "friend". (2-1)
3) The NYT will NOT retract any part of the story. (1-10)

Any takers? (only M&M's will be accepted and you'll have to note which flavor/color/style)

Posted by: Mark at February 21, 2008 03:15 PM

Slight caveat to #3 above:

3a) The NYT will NOT retract any part of the story ON THE FRONT PAGE. (1-100)

PS: I saw a quick report on FSN this morning before leaving for work that some "presure was being put on the NYT to get this story out by TNR)...Bob, can you find out if this is true (knowing how excellent your contacts are with that organization and all /sarc)

Posted by: Mark at February 21, 2008 03:21 PM

This is not a news story, it is an extended insinuation. At best, it is half-formed journalism. At worst, it is naked, partisan advocacy.

They've been sitting on it for months, but only decided to run with it once McCain became the de facto Republican nominee?

What did you expect?

Posted by: rosignol at February 21, 2008 04:51 PM

Perhaps this will crack the bond between Johnnie Mac and the MSMers. Ya can't bite the hand that feeds you much harder than this. Hilariously, the NYT tried to defend this disgrace by saying, "Hey, we endorsed the guy." Nice try, comrade. The only person in this world who didn't know the NYT and its cohorts would turn on McCain like a werewolf if he ever emerged as an actual candidate was John McCain. Now, he knows. Well, if they are agin 'im, I'm likin' him a bit more...

Posted by: megapotamus at February 21, 2008 05:29 PM

Ya can't bite the hand that feeds you much harder than this.

Oh yes they can. This was just the opening shot. A mild "love tap".

The only person in this world who didn't know the NYT and its cohorts would turn on McCain like a werewolf if he ever emerged as an actual candidate was John McCain.

Which I find somewhat disturbing. This means he's dangerously naive.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at February 21, 2008 07:53 PM

I just noticed that the stock price for the NYT dropped a little over 6 and one-half percent today. The overall market as measured by the Dow was down a little over one percent. It makes one wonder if the market professionals were assigning a big debit to the NYT for what is turning into another enormous disaster for a company that is fast approaching financial ruin; they only have so many assets left that they can sell to raise cash, with their failed Boston newspaper acquisition of five or so years ago likely on the block now.

Posted by: Terry at February 21, 2008 11:00 PM

This IS a smear scenario. I am what "you'se" people would call a liberal but in all fairness, this is bad joournalism. Probably a pre-emptive strike by the Dems or payback from one of his Repub rivals.

Posted by: chris lee at February 22, 2008 06:57 AM

Terry what you may not realize is that the owners of the NYT are not concerned about money.

Posted by: John Ryan at February 22, 2008 09:02 AM

Right, john, they're concerned about their ideology. If they were concerned about money, they'd be running a profitable business instead of bleeding red ink and yellow journalism for their liberal friends.

Posted by: Pablo at February 22, 2008 09:13 AM

I would never defend any major media outlet, but people are selective. It's just that they don't want the other guy's propaganda-ist to win. Washington Times anyone..?

Posted by: chris lee at February 22, 2008 12:05 PM

Right the first time. Note even blog worthy.

Posted by: Larry Sheldon at February 22, 2008 12:43 PM

Chris, since you brought it up, please provide an example of a comparable falsified smear that the WaTimes has published.

Please note, reporting on the truth about Democrats doesn't qualify as a falsified smear.

I anticipate either an echoing silence, a farfetched "vast right-wing conspiracy" claim (with or without an actual article), or a huge spin-job.

Posted by: C-C-G at February 23, 2008 08:06 PM

ccg

even if he can find a similar smear who cares? The Washington Times is not the "paper of record." The Times should be held to a higher standard than any other newspaper. If you're going to be the old grey lady you have to live up to it ethically and morally.

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at February 25, 2008 09:35 AM