April 22, 2008

Without Ethics

Did you read the article in the New York Times today implying that John McCain sold political favors to an Arizona real estate developer that is also big campaign donor?

I'm no McCain fan, but after reading all four pages, I'm left still waiting for some substance, some sort of bombshell, that legitimizes this story as news.

Real estate developers try to make money from land deals? They're willing to trade for properties that they feel may be more profitable to them, and discard those properties they feel aren't going to be as profitable? Real estate developers try to attract and keep the attention of politicians by raising money for them?

Shocking. I'm sure such things have never before happened in the history of earth.

For the story to have merit and legitimacy it needs a "gotcha," an impropriety, some sort of ethical or legal breach on behalf of the businessman by the politician. This story runs on for four long pages, but the authors never present anything approaching unethical conduct on the part of the candidate.

To the contrary, instead of making a solid case based upon evidence, the article editorializes, it speculates and implies, but provides nothing to support the implied thesis of McCain's corruption.

In fact, the only evidence the story supplies are specific instances where McCain rejected inappropriate interventions, including one instance where McCain allegedly stopped speaking to the developer for a year over behavior—hiring a personal lobbyist—that was self-serving but entirely legal.

This Times story sought to create a furor over shady, unethical behavior, and it has done that in spades.

Jim Rutenberg is one author of the article, and a man who has apparently discarded his integrity as a reporter to write political hit pieces. This is the second Rutenberg article attacking John McCain in the Times in recent months, neither of which has provided any actual evidence of impropriety. The first alleged an affair with a female lobbyist that was remarkably evidence free, a trait that today's article also seems to share.

Rutenberg has now twice attempted to smear McCain with charges unsupported by evidence, and twice his editors have not only elected to run the hit pieces, but gave them prominent placement in print editions.

We've been fortunate in knowing for some years now that we don't have to wonder about the editorial biases in play at the New York Times, and now because of these articles and others like them we have no reason to question their ethics... they have none.

In the end, Rutenberg and other newsroom editorialists at the Times are hastening their own demise with this kind of journalism.

I'm not sure who will miss them when they're gone.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 22, 2008 11:02 AM

Ethics? Ethics? We don't need no stinking ethics!

Posted by: David at April 22, 2008 11:26 AM

Great, good to have a serious scrutiny and air all this out. I'm sure we can look forward to a Rezko story in the next couple days and a Whitewater/Castle Grande expose' in the Sunday mag.

Posted by: megapotamus at April 22, 2008 12:11 PM

The NYT has sent one of its more strongly coded signals. By putting "McCain" in the same headline as "developer", the four-page article is just frosting on the cake - the headline has already told the faithful that McCain and the Devil are identical twins. Oh, the horror!

The Sunday WaPo expressed its exquisite "concern" about the temperament of McCain. The NYT earlier shrilled its warning that McCain had occupied the same room as a female lobbyist who wasn't wearing hijab. Tune in tomorrow for the next in the MSM series of drip-drip-drip erosion and erasure of its former love affair with John McCain - now that there are real lefties in opposition to him.

Posted by: Micropotamus at April 22, 2008 02:04 PM

Megapotamus, I expect to see an Obama/Rezko story about the same time that Satan opens an ice rink in Hades.

Posted by: C-C-G at April 22, 2008 05:54 PM