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Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Times Serves Up a Nothing Burger

As Clara Peller would say:

The New York Times serves up a giant (3000 words) bun on supposed improprieties between Senator John McCain and a female lobbyist, but even they must have sensed how weak the story was, because they entitled it "For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk".

Not even the liberal bloggers are biting on this one.

Greg Sargent:

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?

Matt Yglesius:

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.

And from the starboard:

Captain Ed:

The New York Times launches its long-awaited smear of John McCain today, and the most impressive aspect of the smear is just how baseless it is. They basically emulate Page Six at the Post, but add in a rehash of a well-known scandal from twenty years ago to pad it out and make it look more impressive. In the end, they present absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing -- only innuendo denied by all of the principals....

Power Line:

What is most striking, though, if you actually read the story, is how thin it is. It's mostly about the Keating Five scandal, which dates to the late 1980s. The "news" that gives the story a hook has to do with McCain's friendship with a pretty blonde lobbyist that apparently ended in 2000. As for the purported affair, the Times offers zero evidence.

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