The Hatchet Job (UPDATED)

Let the games begin!  The NY Times has put forth an “article” attacking John McCain.  As has become typical of what passes for journalism at the NYT.  Relying on innuendo, no corroboration, and no identifiable sourcing, they have put forth what can only be called character assassination in print.

The NYT has gone to ground on this one.  They aren’t defending the article, at least not publicly.  While they say they “stand behind” the article, they won’t go on air, either on TV or radio to defend their reporting.  They hide behind memos and releases.  They have refused any and all offers to appear on various shows. They ignore the information provided not only to them, but other press outlets by the McCain campaign, as well as statements by the principles of the alleged incidents.   Not to mention that this has been brewing since October of last year, since when the McCain people have been providing the NYT with information regarding the issue. 

Of course none of that really matters to the NYT.  Where once the motto was “All the news that’s fit to print,” it’s now “All the news we can make fit into our agenda.”  Truth?  Journalistic integrity?  All long gone now from the NYT.  How can anyone be expected to take this scream sheet seriously anymore?  I mean come on, Drudge wouldn’t run the story, but the NY Times will?

And why sit on this until now?  From what’s being reported elsewhere, not only Drudge had the story in December, but the New Republic Online did as well, with both seeking comment from the McCain campaign.  This one smells, and badly.  It reeks not only of bad journalism, but political partisanship, character assassination, and tabloid titilation.

Some links for further reading:

FOX News

CNN

The Captain’s take

McCain Press Secretary Jill Hazelbaker

(UPDATE)

John Weaver’s Comments on the article

Howard Opinsky at Politico

Looks more and more like the NYT fumbled this one almost as bad as Dan Rather did at CBS.  No need for a strong denial as the story has no legs.

(UPDATE II)

Lanny Davis on his role

More from Captain’s Quarters  Be sure to follow links to Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The report from the LA Times about the Boston Globe’s refusal to run the story.

One more from the Captain

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7 thoughts on “The Hatchet Job (UPDATED)

  1. Above you said that “I mean come on, Drudge wouldn’t run the story, but the NY Times will?” Actually, Drudge did run the story. That’s not to say the story has any merit or to release the NYTimes from any liability here. The McCain camp is acting surprised by this but they knew it was coming all along. I think that we now know why Romney merely “suspended” his campaign and Huckabee has refused to concede defeat. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NYTimes holding more info that’ll be released in the near future.

    Here’s what Drudge wrote back in December:
    http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2007/12/20/20071220_155408_flashnyt.htm

  2. I stand semi-corrected. Drudge ran a “teaser” then dropped it. Not only did not get any play beyond this, it was a “dead letter” at the NYT untill now, with McCain having all but secured the nomination. I doubt the NYT will run anything more, with out some serious deep background and source corrboration prior to publishing.

    Jim Rutenberg was shopping this story for months. MONTHS prior to yesterday’s publication. When Mac was in a dog fight with Romney and Huckabee, they had “doubts” about the sources and accuracy. But now, with Mac looking like he could take some “blue states,” and big ones at that, they opt to run with this. All I see is another version of “Rather-gate,” which with the battering the paper has inflicted on itself over the past few years, this one will be out of the news cycle by Saturday.

  3. If this was the Democratic Candidate the Republican right would be up in arms about how he had been unfaithful to his wife and country. That he was corrupt and ill fit to be a leader. Instead, you have made this old fart look the part.

    McCain issued a half hearted denial, which he hopes will suffice for people to give up and move on, which they likely will. McCain is lousy right now, with 30-40% of his party still against him and a populist candidate coming from the Democrats (either one), McCain has a looong road ahead. I hope he enjoy’s this campaing because this it it.

  4. Enjoy it while you can. The “populist candidates” will suffer when they actually have to say something more than “change” and “hope.”

    And the 30-40% figure is out of line, and way too high. More like 10-15%, and even then, when it comes time for the convention, it will be in the 2-3% range, which is typical.

    And don’t worry, The Obamamessiah has lots of skeletons in his closet. Not to mention his wife shooting her mouth off.

  5. I don’t know where you’re getting the McCain “could take some “blue states,” and big ones at that” argument. If you look at the polls, you’ll see particularly in the Blue States that the Democrats are out polling the GOP by 2 to 1. There’s no way that McCain will siphon votes off of Obama in Blue States. He may have a chance of doing it against Clinton, but again I seriously doubt it.

    The Republican candidates, presumably McCain, just at the “populist” candidates, will have to offer more than the current rhetoric. I don’t know that the electorate will fooled by constant talk of 9/11 or rising terroris threat levels. McCain will have to do some more explaining about his 100 years in Iraq comments on the trail.

  6. Oh absolutely, there will have to be more substance in the campaigns. I just don’t expect it from the Democratic side. Especially as it comes to the tax and economic front. They talk a lot about “change” and “hope” and all sorts of social programs, but when it comes to answering how to pay for it all, they change the subject or just ignore the question.

    As for Mac and the “Blue States,” based on aggregate polling data, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and California are all in play. And the longer the Democratic infighting continues, the deeper the splits between the camps will grow. That will only serve to help McCain in attracting moderates who will inevitably feel disenfranchised by the Democrat’s primary process.

  7. Unless McCain can suddenly stop being an old white man, he is going to have a tough time attracting minority voters, which means NJ, NY and CA area going to be tough hauls. PA and MI are certainly in play, but they are economically depressed areas, and tax cuts are not going to save the economy. McCain would benefit from staying with his original immigration plans, it will anger the republican right (anything short of Stalin anyway will piss them off), but he would be able to make some big inrodes on the Latino votes, who tend to be much more conservative than other minorities, giving him a big boost in Texas, Florida and even California.

    The Religious right will eventually come around to McCain and we will do well in the midwest and intermountain regions. Depending on how the black vote does or does not vote for Obama, the Southern States including Texas and Florida are in play. I don’t see McCain doing well in the Great Lakes or Northeast, where Democracts outnumber Republicans 2-1 in States like New York. But again it all depends on who votes on Election Day.

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