Thursday, February 21, 2008

Senator McCain Learns A Lesson

Now that Senator John McCain is the Republican front runner and almost certainly the nominee, all bets are off and it's open season for the jackals of the dinosaur media.

Today,the New York Times published a scurrilous hit piece masquerading as journalism implying that Senator McCain had an illicit extra-marital affair with a female lobbyist representing telecom interests, and that he was 'influenced'. It also says that two unnamed former associates confronted the Senator about it and that he admitted behaving 'inappropriately' and promised to keep away from the lobbyist.

Here's what the New York Times sounds like imitating the supermarket tabloids:

"In interviews, the two former associates said they joined in a series of confrontations with Mr. McCain, warning him that he was risking his campaign and career. Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman. The two associates, who said they had become disillusioned with the senator, spoke independently of each other and provided details that were corroborated by others."

The entire story really is the alleged affair, with some flashbacks to the Keating Five scandal that McCain was peripherally involved in and some snide comments about McCain-Feingold and campaign finance reform to attempt to give this sleazy hit piece some weight.

What's striking about this is two things.

First of all, there is absolutely no hard evidence whatsoever in the story. No one is quoted on the record, not even the two disgruntled former aides who one would think have nothing to lose.

Except of course they do if they are actually named, given the way the current libel laws are structured. And so does the Times.

And there's is not even a legislative pattern that suggests that the alleged affair Senator McCain is supposed to have had influenced his votes. The reverse in fact - apparently the Senator voted 13 times against the interests of this particular lobbyist's clients!

The second point of interest is the way the New York Times sat on this story, which apparently has been ready to go to press since December of 2007. They obviously wanted to make sure that McCain was a sure nominee before releasing this garbage, and in fact they probably would have held it even longer - maybe until after the GOP convention or even as an October Surprise - if it weren't for the fact that another leftard bastion of the dinosaur media, The New Republic was working along the same lines and was planning to scoop them by releasing this tawdry trash first.

For what it's worth the McCain campaign has published a factual rebuttal to the allegations in the Times story, but that's hardly the point.

Senator McCain has hopefully learned a major lesson here today.

The jackals of the dinosaur media are not his friends and never were, no matter how much they might have fawned on him when it suited their political agendas. In fact, they're incapable of qualities like loyalty, fairness and integrity, journalistic or otherwise. It is simply not in them.

And this will hardly be the last time something like this happens.Look for more of it as time goes on.

Today, it's the blogosphere, conservative politicians, talk radio and the new media that has Senator McCain's back during this blatantly unfair hit job. I hope he notices.

He would do well to take this opportunity to embrace them and learn where his real friends are. I certainly hope he takes the opportunity.

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