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That John McCain story
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Left is positively gleeful at news that John McCain may have had a "close bond" with lobbyist, Vicki Iseman. Apparently, anonymous claims that people close to the campaign were "concerned" is all it takes to justify a major story in the New York Times. And exuberant blogging from the Leftosphere.

Fortunately, one Lefty blogger - Greg Sargent - stopped to think about what they were making a fuss about...
Let's try a little experiment. Let's take the meat of the big New York Times story and substitute the words "Dem Presidential Hopeful" for "John McCain" [...] If these words had appeared on the front page of The New York Times, wouldn't we all be yelling and stamping our feet about "panty sniffing" and condemning the use of anonymous sources who suggest a possible affair that may or may not have happened and wasn't directly alleged by anyone?

That's a sincere question. Wouldn't we?
The answer is "Yes, the Left would." Come on, do you even need to ask? Am I the only one who remembers...

  • ...2004, when John Kerry was accused of having an affair.


  • ...2007, when John Edwards was accused of having an affair.


In both cases, the Leftosphere was apoplectic. Media Matters ran multiple attacks on anybody who dared to discuss the 2007 allegations. Slate and Mickey Kaus were attacked by Lefty bloggers for mentioning the story, with some even pushing to have Kaus fired. In both 2004 and 2007, the Leftosphere was outraged - outraged, I tell you! - that people would cover these "sleazy whispering campaign" allegations.

Today, they're covering the vague allegations. Enthusiastically.

So this is the pattern:

  • Thinly-sourced, unconfirmed 2004 rumor that a Democrat may have had an affair: the mainstream media won't cover it, and the Left bulldozes those who mention it.


  • Thinly-sourced, unconfirmed 2007 rumor that a Democrat may have had an affair: the mainstream media won't cover it, and the Left bulldozes those who mention it.


  • Thinly-sourced, unconfirmed 2008 rumor that a Republican may have had an affair: Front page of the New York Times!

 
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Oh please, "The Left"? Since my usual haunts are left-leaning I can safely say most are wondering WTF is up with the NYT. Again. A more accurate reading of "The Left" would be that this piece is shoody and just one more sign that our Mainsteam Media blows Goats. A view that is probably pretty close to your own.
 
Written By: Pedro the Illegal
URL: http://
That’s shoddy. You know, like my writing skills. Over and out.
 
Written By: Pedro the Illegal
URL: http://
Pedro, reading comprehension is required here.

He is complaining about something other than the mainstream reporting it.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Oh I thought the line "exuberant blogging from the Leftosphere." was pretty clear and needs no elaboration. Nor did the many embedded links to the "Leftosphere" that followed. In fact if you go to any of those very sites today you’ll quickly find that Jon’s premise doesn’t hold water.

So, perhaps you should practice what you preach Partner.
 
Written By: Pedro the Illegal
URL: http://
And why does Pedro care, anyways?

Not like he can vote...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
actually since I’m here. A old ObsidianWings article about earlier scandals was linked. And today?
Gotta say, I’m underwhelmed by the NYT’s McCain bombshell. The whole thing just seems so odd that I wasn’t sure what to say about it. But anyway, here are some tentative thoughts:

First, without more, the NYT story seems extremely reckless. Rich Lowry is right – this story is about the affair. The remainder is padding. If you’re going to come out and say that a presidential nominee had an affair, you need to bring the goods. Them goods, though, ain’t yet been brought. If there’s nothing more (a key assumption), McCain is right to be pissed.
And Iglesia today:
UPDATE: NB, thinking more clearly past my loathing of John McCain, the Times’s effort to substitute innuendo for making a straightforward true or false assertion is seems like a pretty shameful attempt to set up a Kaus-like presumption of guilt. If they have reporting they’re willing to stand behind of a McCain-Iseman affair, they should publish it. And if, as seems to be the case, they don’t have the reporting, then they shouldn’t write the story.
The Carpetbagger hasn’t finished with this, their main guy is sick. Maybe you have a case there, maybe not, we’ll see. Ditto for Greenwald, who I think is the most honest of the bunch.
 
Written By: Pedro the Illegal
URL: http://
What are you talking about - he has a drivers license, a borrowed social security number and a Matricula Consular, why can’t he vote?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Thinly-sourced, unconfirmed 2008 rumor that a Republican may have had an affair: Front page of the New York Times
Geez, could you at least get the story right?

The issue is not whether he had an affair. Everyone knows he has already had an affair. He cheated on his first wife, Carol. That is not news.

(BTW, it’s simply amazing the extent to which the right is so quick to lecture the rest of us on our morals, and then it goes ahead and nominates a known adulterer.)

The issue is whether he was having an affair with a lobbyist, and whether there was a quid pro quo, or at least the appearence of one.
In late 1999, McCain twice wrote letters to the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of Florida-based Paxson Communications — which had paid Iseman as its lobbyist — urging quick consideration of a proposal to buy a television station license in Pittsburgh. At the time, Paxson’s chief executive, Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson, also was a major contributor to McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign. McCain did not urge the FCC commissioners to approve the proposal, but he asked for speedy consideration of the deal, which was pending from two years earlier. In an unusual response, then-FCC Chairman William Kennard complained that McCain’s request "comes at a sensitive time in the deliberative process" and "could have procedural and substantive impacts on the commission’s deliberations and, thus, on the due process rights of the parties."

McCain wrote the letters after he received more than $20,000 in contributions from Paxson executives and lobbyists. Paxson also lent McCain his company’s jet at least four times during 1999 for campaign travel.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
See Memeorandum for the Lefty coverage to which I’m referring.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Geez, could you at least get the story right?
Are you new here too? I’m finding that getting the story right isn’t high on the list of priorities here. Seems to be more of an incestuous circle jerk in progress. If you dare suggest anything that deviates from the agreed upon storyline then they’ll try to bluff you off, facts be damned. And if that fails then it’s time to change the subject.


 
Written By: Pedro the Illegal
URL: http://
Are you new here too?
MK has been around long enough to have repeatedly condemned McCain’s treatment from the 2000 primary in SC.

Now he’s using the smears from 2000 to attack McCain himself.

That’s typical behavior for MK — faux outrage and hypocrisy.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Seems to be more of an incestuous circle jerk in progress. If you dare suggest anything that deviates from the agreed upon storyline then they’ll try to bluff you off, facts be damned. And if that fails then it’s time to change the subject.
yeah, you’re new, that’s why you start out making suggestions like above.

and from that I can guess you usually go into a new place and start out by standing in the middle of the room and practicing good relations with the locals by telling everyone within earshot they’re @ssholes.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Why does this surprise anyone?

We are always taking people having their own oxes gored, this is just another, in a long line of examples, where people will geelfully believe the worst, with no corrobaration, about those who they do not like, and they will defend as innocent, regardless of how well the documented allegations are, those that they favor.

Every day I am more convinced that there is no such thing as political awareness, instead, we are more like sports fans, supporting the teams we have chosen to support, come hell or high water.



 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
MK has been around long enough to have repeatedly condemned McCain’s treatment from the 2000 primary in SC.

Now he’s using the smears from 2000 to attack McCain himself.

That’s typical behavior for MK — faux outrage and hypocrisy.
Nice try.

Yes, I have condemned McCain’s treatment by the Bush campaign in 2000. But that’s got nothing to do with the point I was making, namely, that the main point of story is not about the sex.

And it is typical wingnuttery to not understand (or misrepresent) the gist of the story. McCain has long been known as an adulterer. No news there. (Of course, if were a Democrat, the GOP would be in full frenzy over the infidelity.)

Just because Bush is a slimeball doesn’t mean McCain can’t be sleazy.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
From mkultra’s own quote:
McCain did not urge the FCC commissioners to approve the proposal, but he asked for speedy consideration of the deal, which was pending from two years earlier.
So, McCain didn’t actually try to influence the decision, he just asked them to hurry it up after two years. That doesn’t sound like it’s even close to the appearance of impropriety.

Seriously, mk, if this is all you have, you might as well stop pushing the issue right now.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
First MK says:
I’m superstitious that McCain may have been sleeping with a lobbyist.
Now MK tries to claim:
But that’s got nothing to do with the point I was making, namely, that the main point of story is not about the sex.
Furthermore, MK claims:
Just because Bush is a slimeball doesn’t mean McCain can’t be sleazy.
In other words, "Just because I repeatedly criticize those who push sleazy stories about McCain doesn’t mean I’m above using the same info to do the same thing!"

Idiot.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
The best part of watching you clowns climbing out of your clown car is there aren’t too many here who ever ’favored’ McCain to start with.

John’s post really isn’t about McCain - get it?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The best part of watching you clowns climbing out of your clown car is there aren’t too many here who ever ’favored’ McCain to start with
A few more cheap shots like this NYT story and that may very well change...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
So, McCain didn’t actually try to influence the decision, he just asked them to hurry it up after two years. That doesn’t sound like it’s even close to the appearance of impropriety.

Seriously, mk, if this is all you have, you might as well stop pushing the issue right now.
My original point was the story was not mainly about the sex. I didn’t take a position on the strength or weakness of the non-sexual allegations.

You are as disingenious as they come, Steverino.

But one does wonder, if the story is so meaningless, why did McCain’s people work so hard to try to spike it? After all, the latest wingnut spin is that this story helps McCain. So why try to spike a story that helps your campaign?
In other words, "Just because I repeatedly criticize those who push sleazy stories about McCain doesn’t mean I’m above using the same info to do the same thing!"
Gosh - you got me there. The story says it was McCain’s own aides who thought he was having a sexual relationship. So yes - I am suspecting the very same thing that McCain’s closest supporters also suspected. Guilty as charged. Oh, and you might have noticed, McCain didn’t disagree with the claim that his advisors confronted him with their suspicions.

So if I agree with Karl Rove, does that mean I am pushing sleazy stories about Bush?

JWG, you got yourself so wrapped around the axle on this one, you might never come loose.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
So, McCain didn’t actually try to influence the decision, he just asked them to hurry it up after two years. That doesn’t sound like it’s even close to the appearance of impropriety.

Seriously, mk, if this is all you have, you might as well stop pushing the issue right now.

My original point was the story was not mainly about the sex. I didn’t take a position on the strength or weakness of the non-sexual allegations.
And Steve’s point isn’t about the sex either MK - who’s wrapped around what axle here?

If it’s not about the sex, and the non-sexual allegations don’t hold water, what’s the point, other than to bring up McCains adultery?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
My original point was the story was not mainly about the sex. I didn’t take a position on the strength or weakness of the non-sexual allegations.

You are as disingenious as they come, Steverino.
I was addressing your own statement:
The issue is whether he was having an affair with a lobbyist, and whether there was a quid pro quo, or at least the appearence of one.
And I think I addressed it quite well: there is no appearance of impropriety. Admit it, mk: I nailed you on this point, and you’re now trying to obfuscate things.

There is so much less here than the Obama-Rezko deal, and I don’t hear you spouting off about Obama. So, unless you have anything more than a flimsy allegation, shut your trap.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Every day I am more convinced that there is no such thing as political awareness, instead, we are more like sports fans, supporting the teams we have chosen to support, come hell or high water.
Yep. I made that point almost exactly two years ago. The most exasperating part, for me, is that so many people don’t seem aware that they are doing that. They seem to genuinely think they’re the martyrs and the other side is the one being inconsistent.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
McCain May or May Not Have Cheated on His Wife, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit
 
Written By: Come on, Please
URL: http://
Sometimes people defend a position they don’t even really agree with just because it’s the opposite of what they’re known opponents believe.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I can’t imagine why liberals wouldn’t want Republicans to be subject to the same sort of media coverage they’ve had. Surely, we should lie down and play dead. Then it’s fair and balanced. We must now seriously discuss the problem of journalistic ethics!
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Mickey Kaus didn’t just mention the Edwards rumor, he promoted it endlessly. For a month, he had a reference to the Edwards rumor in 46% of his blog posts. (I counted.) 46%, for a stupid National Enquirer rumor that was denied by everybody in a position to deny it, with nobody on the record!

I understand why you’re angry, and I’d be pissed, too, if it was my candidate getting this treatment. But:

(a) the leftysphere response is not exactly "positively gleeful"- the McCain stories have been downplayed, dismissed or criticized already by Matthew Yglesias, Talking Points Memo, Kevin Drum, Balloon Juice, and Tim Noah. There are more, I’m sure; that’s just what I’ve seen.

(b) Mickey Kaus should have been fired.
 
Written By: Clambone
URL: http://
The story says it was McCain’s own aides who thought he was having a sexual relationship.
So it’s not an anonymous, unconfirmed allegation that he had an affair with a lobbyist... it’s an anonymous, unconfirmed allegation that his aides thought maybe he was (or that it might look that way).

The emphasis still goes on anonymous and unconfirmed. Which is the point of the Greg Sargent quote.

I was wondering if you could give us one more rendition of "it’s not about whether or not he had an affair, but OMG remember when he had an affair!?!?" Please, humor me.
 
Written By: J Sterlace
URL: http://qando.net
Clambone - you’re equating Slate with the front page of the NYT?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
We must now seriously discuss the problem of journalistic ethics!
And pray tell - what are journalistic ethics? Are you the one who is going to conduct such a symposium?
Heh!

(Note: Symposium is PC for Cluster-F*ck.)
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
You are as disingenious as they come, Steverino.
MK proceeds to wrap my irony meter around it’s peg five times.
But one does wonder, if the story is so meaningless, why did McCain’s people work so hard to try to spike it?


Here’s a clue, MK... Image is everything. THere’s a lot of people who will believe any rumor about someone they don’t like, as you comment prove on a fairly regular basis. In short, the story need not be true to cause damage. That’s why.


That aside, though, there seems one more point that this story proves, that not many are saying very muc about:

So much for the myth that liberals are going to back McCain in the GE because he’s spent the last few years kissing their backsides. The very people he’s been courting so feverishly, are now the very same who dump this kind of sewage on him. And mind, this is only the first incident. Trust me, they have more, or they’d have saved this story till later than they did. (And make no mistake, here... the timing of this story coming up again, is as selective as it gets)

Meanwhile, the conservative base, which McCain has spent so much time ignoring, is being rather quiet. That silence going to play large in the end, I think.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
The most exasperating part, for me, is that so many people don’t seem aware that they are doing that. They seem to genuinely think they’re the martyrs and the other side is the one being inconsistent
And along comes Oliver to prove the point....

I can’t imagine why liberals wouldn’t want Republicans to be subject to the same sort of media coverage they’ve had. Surely, we should lie down and play dead. Then it’s fair and balanced. We must now seriously discuss the problem of journalistic ethics!
Go back to writing what Soros tells you, hack....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Then there is an affair of a different type.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Go back to writing what Soros tells you, hack....
He only writes half of my posts, come on!
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
He only writes half of my posts, come on
Ah so the incoherence in that half is yours. Oh well then, thanks for clarifying... :)
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
He only writes half of my posts, come on!
Heck, I’ll be glad to let Soros write a few posts here at QandO for half what you make!

Note: Soros does not, in fact, fund MM; they get their money from various organizations, some of which are funded by Soros...but who cares? Many people, including rich people, spend money to ensure that political views are heard. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s (generally) more of an endorsement of the views, than a finger on the scale.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Oh, and you might have noticed, McCain didn’t disagree with the claim that his advisors confronted him with their suspicions.
Once again, MK proves himself ignorant — from the NYT:
Mr. McCain also said he knew nothing about confrontations that the newspaper described between Mr. McCain and staff members who were worried that the senator’s relationship with Ms. Iseman would jeopardize his career. “I don’t know if it happened at their level, it certainly didn’t happen to me,” Mr. McCain said.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
if the story is so meaningless, why did McCain’s people work so hard to try to spike it?
Duh. Cause they know the mileage, true or no, it will get in the leftosphere to include mainstream media. You’re not stupid at all.
the latest wingnut spin is that this story helps McCain. So why try to spike a story that helps your campaign?

wtf? You’re playing both sides well. Is it wingnut spin or does it help? You roll your car today or something?
McCain May or May Not Have Cheated on His Wife, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit
This is the line that brought Oliver out. Hilarious. He’s got some kind of script running in the background to sniff out such things. Go get em, tiger. And I no clicky on your linky, trolly.
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://
I thought this piece was badly written and overambitious, Jon. And I’ll even grant you that the left is enjoying this.

But forgive me if I don’t cry too hard for John McCain. Have you seen the bullhonkey the right has been pushing about Obama? A *staffer* put up a Che flag? His dad was maybe a Communist? Michelle Obama is really proud of America? Obama used political themes similar to his friend Deval Patrick? The *American Flag Pin story*??? I could link these all, and you know it. Furthermore, the New York Times actually covered some of these.
So your larger point that the "mainstream media only goes after Republicans" is pure hogwash. What mainstream media network was *not* recently talking about the utterly vapid Michelle Obama flap for the past two days?

Even better, in three words. John. Edwards. Haircut. I mean - for Pete’s sake - what do you remember about media coverage of Bill Clinton.

The Edwards and Kerry stories had nothing behind them. This wasn’t a well-done story, but they do have someone on record describing, at minimum, a rather strange emotional dynamic in the McCain campaign over a lobbyist. There’s a legit story here about John McCain’s supposedly squeaky-clean image. The Times just botched the delivery by going into romance issues that don’t have enough evidence - as of today.

Your point that we’re not playing any nicer than you is ok. The idea that the MSM is nice to Democrats is lunacy. It requires ignoring mountains of contrary evidence about every major Democratic figure in the past two decades.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
THE MCCAIN MYTH

The allegation against Bush in the McCain affair stems almost entirely from the 2000 South Carolina primary. McCain had beaten Bush badly in New Hampshire, and Bush might have been knocked out of the race if he had lost again in South Carolina. Therefore, according to the Democratic scenario, Bush viciously attacked McCain, smearing him with a so-called "push poll" in which the Bush campaign or its supporters called thousands of voters, ostensibly for the purpose of taking a poll, but actually to spread negative personal information about McCain. Only by resorting to underhanded tactics, the story goes, was Bush able to win South Carolina and, later, the GOP nomination.

Even though the campaign was hard fought from the beginning, the controversy really began on Feb. 10, 2000, nine days before the primary. McCain held a town-hall meeting in Spartanburg, and a woman named Donna Duren said her 14-year-old son, who idolized McCain, had answered the phone the night before and had become distressed. "He was so upset," Duren told McCain. "He said, ’Mom, someone told me that Senator McCain is a cheat and a liar and a fraud.’" "What you’ve just told me has had a very profound effect on me," McCain told Duren. He subsequently sent an impassioned message to Bush: "I’m calling on my good friend George Bush to stop this now. He comes from a better family. He knows better than this." Duren’s story became a staple of McCain’s campaign. He told it at a debate, in stump speeches, and on TV. But despite all the attention McCain lavished on the tale, there was no evidence, beyond Duren’s testimony, that it was true.

The Bush campaign had hired an out-of-state company to make about 200,000 "advocacy" calls to voters. After McCain’s criticism, the campaign released the script of those calls. The script said Bush was "working hard and stressing his message of reform with results." It went on to say, "Unfortunately, the race has turned ugly," and urged listeners, "Don’t be misled by McCain’s negative tactics." It ended with more positive words about Bush. There was no mention of cheats or liars or frauds.

Nearly a week after McCain’s initial accusations, the Los Angeles Times looked into the matter. The paper found voters who had received the "advocacy" calls, but none who had received a call like the one described by Duren. "The McCain campaign has provided the names of only six voters complaining about calls from the Bush side," the paper said. Of the voters the Times’s reporters could reach, "three described questions that, while negative, appear to have been part of a legitimate poll. Another said she heard no negative information at all." The paper found no one who supported Duren’s accusation.

The lack of evidence, while not proof that the call story was untrue, is nevertheless telling. Republican strategists point out that in controversies over mass callings, there has almost always been a tape of the calls, usually made by the answering machines of voters who received them. When Pat Robertson made a negative call on Bush’s behalf in Michigan, for example, the story ended up on the front page of the New York Times, because someone had a tape of it. Likewise, when the McCain campaign made its infamous anti-Bush "Catholic voter alert" calls in Michigan, there was taped evidence. But there was no such evidence of the "cheat/liar/fraud" calls.

"If those calls took place, then where is the tape?" asks one GOP strategist. "You can’t make more than five phone calls and not have it end up on somebody’s answering machine. They’ve never been able to produce the individual who made the calls, they’ve never been able to produce the phone vendor who made the calls, and they’ve never been able to produce a script or a tape recording."

The same was true of rumors of other "push poll" calls that allegedly claimed that McCain had fathered an illegitimate mixed-race child. Although later commentary has simply accepted the existence of such calls as fact—in January of this year, National Public Radio’s Linda Wertheimer reported that "mysterious callers posing as pollsters asked voters how they felt about John McCain’s black child"—there is no hard evidence that the calls occurred.

That is not to say there was no low-road campaigning. A Bob Jones University professor named Richard Hand, who had no connection to the Bush forces, sent out an e-mail containing a variety of charges against McCain, including the one that he had fathered illegitimate children. But in that case, there was evidence of the smear: the e-mail. Hand’s name quickly became public, and his message was discredited.

McCain, meanwhile, was doing real, substantial things to lose the race. He alienated a number of party loyalists by openly courting the support of Democrats. "I say to independents, Democrats, Libertarians, vegetarians, come on over," McCain said at rally after rally. McCain further alienated GOP voters with a negative ad saying that Bush "twists the truth like Clinton. We’re all pretty tired of that." Bush’s response got a lot of applause in the final debate when he told McCain, "Whatever you do, don’t equate my integrity and trustworthiness to Bill Clinton. That’s about as low a blow as you can give in a Republican primary." In the end, McCain lost, with 42 percent to Bush’s 53 percent. Among Republicans, McCain lost big, with 26 percent to Bush’s 69 percent. "The things that beat him in South Carolina were when he compared Bush to Clinton and he publicly encouraged liberals and Democrats to vote for him in the primary," says the Republican strategist.

Nevertheless, the myth of the anti-McCain smear persists, cited on a regular basis by the Kerry campaign. In early March, when for a few hours McCain fueled speculation that he might become Kerry’s running mate, a Kerry spokesman took the opportunity to bring it all up again. "The Republican party shamed itself in 2000," the spokesman told the New York Daily News, "when they allowed the Bush attack machine to smear John McCain."
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-130933958.html
 
Written By: ABC
URL: http://
glas, take note that the Che flag definitely existed; film proves it. Michelle Obama definitely said she had never been proud of America; it’s on tape. You can argue about whether those things actually mean very much, but you can’t argue about whether the incidents took place.

But the McCain story is innuendo, not fact. That puts it in a different league, and if you can’t see that, you’re really, really missing Jon’s point.

I loathe McCain, but this story is pretty typical of the shoddy standards of the NYT when it comes to Republicans.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
but they do have someone on record describing, at minimum, a rather strange emotional dynamic in the McCain campaign over a lobbyist
They have no one "on record". They have an anonymous claim.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Its interesting that this post appears word for word on Newsbusters with no attribution to QandO.

New job Jon?
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Billy;
I loathe McCain, but this story is pretty typical of the shoddy standards of the NYT when it comes to Republicans
.

Well, I do as well, but the timing of this story is even more revealing than it’s (lack of ) content, in my view. Whatever else might be said about it, in terms of journalistic standards, it seems clear that the timing involved was planned. We’re told the reason the Times went with this story was because TNR was going with it, and they wanted to beat TNR to the exclusive? Please. What can possibly be exclusive about a 5 year old story to which nothing new has been added, which is actually traceable? What possible reason, then, would the Times have to run with the story?

This ain’t rocket science, kids.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Its interesting that this post appears word for word on Newsbusters with no attribution to QandO.
Matt Sheffield asked me if he could cross-post it over there. I said he was welcome to do so.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
Whatever else might be said about it, in terms of journalistic standards, it seems clear that the timing involved was planned.


This is the best possible timing for McCain, too late to hurt him in the primaries, and too early to hurt him in the general. The story is suspect, but it’s a huge reach to suggest that the timing is suspect.

On the McCain myth above, there are a couple of problems.

1. It says that the no evidence, and then the written evidence of a mass distribution e-mail from an unaffiliated supporter (think SVBT) making the precise claims that McCain supporters were so upset about.

2. The fact that the firm that was doing the nasty version of the push-polling was not identified is not surprising, they obviously would not be leaving messages on answering machines, and at that time, blocking caller ID was a simple task.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
This is the best possible timing for McCain, too late to hurt him in the primaries, and too early to hurt him in the general.
Perhaps you will recall there was a lot of rumbling about how the Democrats WANTED McCain to win the nomination so as to ahve an easy time against him in the general election? Or hadn’t you noticed that both the press and the left (A redundancy) have been treating im with kid gloves, until now?

The story is suspect, but it’s a huge reach to suggest that the timing is suspect.
I think not. There’s too much that meshes, for me, to ignore this, or write it off as random chance....

If the story is that suspect, (And we seem to agree it is) there’s only one reason for putting it out there...(Again) Someone needed McCain on the defensive... needed some way of putting him off his stride at the beginning of the campaign for the General election. This fits almost exactly with the prediction I made when he started leading the republican race. They’d start attacking him when he had things sewn up. And so they have.

But who are ’they’? Who would benefit?

We have several ways to go here, as to who might benefit from such a story hitting just now; Huckbee is out of that list, since he’s not a serious candidate any longer, and would thus have nothing to gain. McCain running a premptive strike (So as to get the story out of the way at a less damaing time) is something I might buy if I could be convinced that he had enough pull at TNR and the NYT to promote such a story in those venues. I am not so convinced, just now.

And anyway, I’m also not convinced there’s a GOOD time for this stuff to come out, either. Most of the stories which have been hurting candidates in both parties, this cycle, are all years old. Indeed, the only one this statement doesn’t apply to is Obama, given he has no legislative history to speak of.

But you’re quite correct that it’s early in the season yet for the Demorats to be shooting the whole load... which suggests this is merely the opening salvo. Which again seems to tie in with the oft spoken point about wanting to run an un-named Democrat aainst McCain, as opposed to anyone else.


 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Perhaps you will recall there was a lot of rumbling about how the Democrats WANTED McCain to win the nomination so as to ahve an easy time against him in the general election? Or hadn’t you noticed that both the press and the left (A redundancy) have been treating im with kid gloves, until now?
I think this is irrelevant since the point still remains that if the purpose were to time this for maximum political damage, the general election period would have been more effective. This will be a distant memory by the general election, unless it’s true, in which case it gives the Republicans time to get Romney back into it. Best possible time for both Republicans and McCain.

Here’s what I’m thinking. Someone is going to go down hard for this, and it’s either going to be the NYT or McCain. If the NYT has something solid they are holding back, then McCain will go down so hard that ROmney will become the nominee. If all they have is what has been presented so far, the NYT will see firings from bottom up. But if they DO have something solid, then again, it is great news for Republicans, since they are not completely committed yet.

If the story as stated is all they have, this is one horribly presented story. It goes beyond sloppy to pure tabloid sleaze, and considering some of the actual good journalism that has come out of the Enquirer in the last decade, it goes well below tabloid sleaze.


 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
an unaffiliated supporter (think SVBT)
at least there, Kerry had to admit he lied.... :)
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Is the media really that dumb? This story’s only purpose was to ralley the Neo-Con’s to McCain’s side! You can bet somewhere in the shadows is Rowe, who eventhough he doesn’t like McCain, would rather have him versus any Democrat in the White House. A democrat might investagate the GAO, who’s been holding reports to Congress on billions of tax dollars either missing or that was over paid to those infamous No-Bid contractors, with Republican ties!
 
Written By: Charlie
URL: http://
It says that the no evidence, and then the written evidence of a mass distribution e-mail from an unaffiliated supporter (think SVBT) making the precise claims that McCain supporters were so upset about.
No evidence of calls. No evidence of the Bush campaign being involved.

 
Written By: ABC
URL: http://
I think this is irrelevant since the point still remains that if the purpose were to time this for maximum political damage
this statement in my view makes an unwarranted assumption; and that they are looking for the maximum damage all at one blow. As you suggest, there is a long period of time between here and November, and I suggest they are going to be creating a steady drumbeat of nonsense like this to throw at their opponent.

If this was the worst that they have to throw at McCain, they most certainly would’ve waited until November was closer, say, late October, for example, to spring this story. As it is, they sprung it extraordinarily early, and without much real investigation into the matter. Obviously, they were in a hurry to get the story out. Which in turn suggests that timing of the story’s release was crucial.

I also would like to think that somebody is going to go down hard on this issue, but frankly, we’ve seen too much in the way of corruption of the press in the past, for it to be the New York Times that goes down here. We have also seen that Mr. McCain being dragged through the wake of Governor Keating. If there was a price to be paid, he would’ve been paying for it already.

No, I am inclined to think that this whole thing is going to get buried under what will most certainly be considered more pressing matters as we go forward.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
that they are looking for the maximum damage all at one blow
That would be the point of timing it, and you had said that timing is suspect.

Do you mean timing in the sense that McCain is only now the presumed nominee, so now the catapults are only beginning to be launched?

I’d have to point to negative stories already printed on:

Giuliani - business ties
Romney - Illegal immigrant employees
Clinton - Ties to potentially embarassing funders of Clinton library
Obama - Madrassa
Thompson - Trophy wife
McCain - wife addiction
John Edwards - infidelity

I will agree that the story is crap, and it’s not much better if they have more, since that would be a virtual perjury trap. But I disagree that there is any timing involved at all. I think the story would never have seen the light of day ahd McCain not pulled ahead, but that’s not about timing, that’s about having a story about someone people are interested in, as opposed to a story about the one of the guys who did not make the cut.


I hope you are wrong about the NYT, and they DO fire people over this.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
That would be the point of timing it, and you had said that timing is
suspect
You wouldn’t make much of a chess player, that way.

Are defensive linemen expected to take the whole line down by themselves, singly?
Are single hailstones capable of major damage of themselves?

I call the timing of the story critical because given the hurry with which it was put together, SOMEONE clearly thought the timing was an issue.

That this weak line gets offered this early, (Despite the story being years old) suggests to me that there is stronger to come, in this way: As has been suggested, this attack on McCain is weak in the extreme. Given it is so, any decent rumor monger would hold such a story until late October... or perhaps a couple days before the election, so that it couldn’t be properly examined, prior to the vote, instead of hurrying it to the point where the average sixth grader can poke holes in it, as happened.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I call the timing of the story critical because given the hurry with which it was put together, SOMEONE clearly thought the timing was an issue.
The story on the timing has been a push to beat TNR and others who were going to publish the essentials of this story, you indicated that you believed there was a politically motivated aspect to the timing, which to me, makes no sense at all.

If we assume that the NYT is an extension of the DNC, to do it’s bidding to destroy any Republicans, then the NYT would have had stories ready and prepared for WHOEVER the Republican nominee turned out to be, and they would not have rushed at all.

Assuming they are chess players
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://

 
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