UPDATE(02): 02-24-08 NEW YORK TIMES OMBUDSMAN COMMENTS ON McCAIN NON-STORY
UPDATE(02): 02-24-08 NEW YORK TIMES OMBUDSMAN COMMENTS ON McCAIN NON-STORY
Even the New York Times' own ombudsman has problems with the Times' coverage on McCain...
"The Public Editor"
What That McCain Article Didn’t Say"
"BILL KELLER, the executive editor of The Times, said the article about John McCain that appeared in Thursday’s paper was about a man nearly felled by scandal who rebuilt himself as a fighter against corruption but is still 'careless about appearances, careless about his reputation, and that’s a pretty important thing to know about somebody who wants to be president of the United States.'”
"But judging by the explosive reaction to the 3,000-word article, most readers saw it as something else altogether. They saw it as a story about illicit sex. And most were furious at The Times."
"The article had repercussions for both McCain and The Times. He may benefit, at least in the short run, from a conservative backlash against the 'liberal' New York Times. The newspaper found itself in the uncomfortable position of being the story as much as publishing the story, in large part because, although it raised one of the most toxic subjects in politics — sex — it offered readers no proof that McCain and Iseman had a romance."
"The article was notable for what it did not say: It did not say what convinced the advisers that there was a romance. It did not make clear what McCain was admitting when he acknowledged behaving inappropriately — an affair or just an association with a lobbyist that could look bad. And it did not say whether Weaver, the only on-the-record source, believed there was a romance. The Times did not offer independent proof, like the text messages between Detroit’s mayor and a female aide that The Detroit Free Press disclosed recently, or the photograph of Donna Rice sitting on Gary Hart’s lap."
"But in the absence of a smoking gun, I asked Keller why he decided to run what he had."
“'If the point of the story was to allege that McCain had an affair with a lobbyist, we’d have owed readers more compelling evidence than the conviction of senior staff members,' he replied. 'But that was not the point of the story. The point of the story was that he behaved in such a way that his close aides felt the relationship constituted reckless behavior and feared it would ruin his career.'”
"I think that ignores the scarlet elephant in the room. A newspaper cannot begin a story about the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee with the suggestion of an extramarital affair with an attractive lobbyist 31 years his junior and expect readers to focus on anything other than what most of them did. And if a newspaper is going to suggest an improper sexual affair, whether editors think that is the central point or not, it owes readers more proof than The Times was able to provide."
"The stakes are just too big. As the flamboyant Edwin Edwards of Louisiana once said, 'The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.'”
UPDATE(01): 02-22-08 NEW YORK TIMES EDITOR COMMENTS ON McCAIN NON-STORY
Courtesy of the Media Research Center...
"New York Times’ executive editor Bill Keller continues to defend the paper’s unsubstantiated gossip alleging an improper sexual relationship between Senator John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman -- even claiming that 'no one has challenged what we actually reported,” despite clear denials from McCain, Iseman and three top campaign advisors.'"
"Keller repeatedly admitted in a National Public Radio interview that he and the Times had no facts and no story. As for the alleged affair, 'If, hypothetically, we had established that he had a romantic relationship with a lobbyist — and had done favors for that lobbyist — that would have been a different story.' As to the possible conflict of interest, 'We don't know if there was a quid or a quo in this case.'”
Original blog entry...
Most politicians are slime balls...
Let us start with the premise that most long-term politicians are slime-balls, that somewhere in their long career they have taken campaign donations or received support from special interest lobbyists who were promoting their own agenda.
Real scandal vs. media created controversy...
Now with that said, other than out-and-out Randy "Duke" Cunningham or Jack Abramoff-style corruption; a major Larry Craig or Bob Allen sex scandal, all that remains is to build a mini-brouhaha based on comparing a candidate's actions with what he has loudly proclaimed or a circumstantial case for some impropriety.
Since politicians are, for the purposes of defamation legal actions, "public persons," members of the media can float speculative items, ask politically-charged questions or simply list a chain of past events to embarrass or wound a candidate.
The New York Times... for those who want left-leaning news and views
Whatever journalistic integrity the New York Times may have had in the past has been heavily eroded by modern in-house reporting scandals and sloppy journalism. Jason Blair who plagiarized copy and fabricated elements of his stories comes immediately to mind. The fact that their reporting is biased towards far-left issues immediately raises issues of journalistic integrity and the crossover of journalism and commentary.
Therefore I am not surprised that the left-leaning New York Times is heavily hyping a story which may point to a candidate's potentially unseemly behavior, but upon carefully reading says absolutely nothing of any value or interest.
The New York Times nonsense and non-scandal...
From the New York Times...
For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk
No facts, only "waves of anxiety..."
"Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers."
Mention a woman and a lobbyist...
"A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet.
Anonymous campaign staffers concerned about the appearance of impropriety...
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."
This is what politicians do for lobbyists...
"When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement."
Mention the denial, but quote the anonymous advisers....
"Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship. But to his advisers, even the appearance of a close bond with a lobbyist whose clients often had business before the Senate committee Mr. McCain led threatened the story of redemption and rectitude that defined his political identity."
Rehash the past...
"It had been just a decade since an official favor for a friend with regulatory problems had nearly ended Mr. McCain’s political career by ensnaring him in the Keating Five scandal. In the years that followed, he reinvented himself as the scourge of special interests, a crusader for stricter ethics and campaign finance rules, a man of honor chastened by a brush with shame."
Now try to hang McCain on his apparent ethics...
"But the concerns about Mr. McCain’s relationship with Ms. Iseman underscored an enduring paradox of his post-Keating career. Even as he has vowed to hold himself to the highest ethical standards, his confidence in his own integrity has sometimes seemed to blind him to potentially embarrassing conflicts of interest."
And provide examples...
"Mr. McCain promised, for example, never to fly directly from Washington to Phoenix, his hometown, to avoid the impression of self-interest because he sponsored a law that opened the route nearly a decade ago. But like other lawmakers, he often flew on the corporate jets of business executives seeking his support, including the media moguls Rupert Murdoch, Michael R. Bloomberg and Lowell W. Paxson, Ms. Iseman’s client. (Last year he voted to end the practice.)"
Wow, the disclosure of a politician who did not follow his own advice...
"Mr. McCain helped found a nonprofit group to promote his personal battle for tighter campaign finance rules. But he later resigned as its chairman after news reports disclosed that the group was tapping the same kinds of unlimited corporate contributions he opposed, including those from companies seeking his favor. He has criticized the cozy ties between lawmakers and lobbyists, but is relying on corporate lobbyists to donate their time running his presidential race and recently hired a lobbyist to run his Senate office."
Play up his reputation as a "wild man"
“'He is essentially an honorable person,' said William P. Cheshire, a friend of Mr. McCain who as editorial page editor of The Arizona Republic defended him during the Keating Five scandal. 'But he can be imprudent.'”
Guilt by association
"Mr. Cheshire added, 'That imprudence or recklessness may be part of why he was not more astute about the risks he was running with this shady operator,' Charles Keating, whose ties to Mr. McCain and four other lawmakers tainted their reputations in the savings and loan debacle."
Yada, Yada, Yada
And now expand your premise that McCain's past and present activities in the area of campaign reform were not always followed along with more of the same. Yada, Yada, Yada.
If anything, McCain is guilty of hypocrisy ... so unless the New York Times is withholding information, McCain is not guilty of a sexual peccadillo, corruption or weakening the defense of the United States -- so why is the Times trying to make this appear to be a scandal?
Answer: Because they have lost much of their journalistic integrity and will apparently do or say anything to help the far-left wing of the democrat party.
What can YOU do?
Realize that the New York Times as well as much of the major mainstream media has a not-so-hidden leftist agenda which further blurs the line between editorial opinion and journalistic reporting.
Realize that Barack Obama has his own mini-scandal with a lobbyist involving his family home property.
A Democrat media consultant writes in the Boston Globe that his party has reasons to worry about Obama's shady relationship with the corrupt slumlord:
"While running as a reformer, Obama has had a 17-year relationship with an indicted Chicago con man who's going on trial for fraud, extortion, and money laundering. ABC News found that Obama has been close to Antoin 'Tony' Rezko, a major slumlord and wheeler-dealer who used minority set-asides and community groups as fronts to win government contracts."
"As a state senator, Obama wrote letters to the city and state backing Rezko's successful bid to get $14 million in tax money to build senior citizen housing that wasn't in Obama's district."
"ABC and the Chicago Sun-Times both found that Obama asked for and got Rezko's help in buying land neighboring Rezko's property for $300,000 below the asking price. When the deal became public, Obama said it was a mistake that he regrets. He may not be done regretting it."
"The Sun-Times has learned that Obama is the unnamed political candidate in the federal indictment against Rezko. His US Senate campaign got $10,000 out of quarter-million-dollar scheme engineered by Rezko."
"Obama's dealings with Rezko took place while it was well known that Rezko was under investigation by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who sent Scooter Libby to jail. Rezko goes on trial Feb. 25, three weeks after Feb. 5, when half of all the delegates will be chosen."
And you can't even begin to describe the chaos, corruption that swirls around Hillary Clinton.
There is no perfect candidate for the office of the Presidency -- but you must ask yourself who will best defend the United States and who may be moderated by Congressional opposition? Compared to modern liberal/socialists who tax and spend policies will resonate in the Congress and may be enacted into laws to the detriment of the American public.
They tried to smear McCain once -- and now they are trying to do it again. By sowing the seeds of doubt.
Do not project your own feelings on to a candidate who may appear to be a blank slate always speaking of hope and the future while coming from an undistinguished and questionable past.
Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security, sovereignty and economic strength of the United States or limit an individual's right of self-defense for their personal philosophy, power, prestige or profits.
Quote of the day:
Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation. -- Henry Kissinger
A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…
The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS