Thursday, February 21, 2008

McCain not out of woods

From the coverage of the McCain scandal on the TV machine you'd think the issue here was the credibility of the New York Times. While it's true that the paper's credibility is severely diminished by its behavior on the Iraq war and other issues, four of its top reporters put their names on this story. They understand that in today's media landscape their credibility really is their top asset - so they didn't push this story lightly - they believe in it.

Calmer heads are looking into the relationship of McCain to Iseman and seeing if not a romantic relationship, then certainly a relationship of lobbyist to senator, a senator, by the way, who basically saved the lobbyist's company by changing his vote on a telecom bill after being lobbied by her.

So McCain has thrown down the gauntlet. He better be telling the truth, and he better hope that none of the Times' anonymous sources out themselves or add to the story. He also better hope the traditional media doesn't look into his history of taking money and advice from Washington lobbyists. If either of those things happen, he's toast.

3 comments:

Midwest Meg said...

"He also better hope the traditional media doesn't look into his history of taking money and advice from Washington lobbyists."

Rob, Rob, Rob, I love your hopeful spirit, but darling, we're talking about St. John McCain, the straight-talking maverick war hero! The guy for whom the traditional media has had a huge man-crush on for years. Reporters who dare to delve into McCain's history of ethical lapses will be seen as partisan cogs in the librul machine; people unworthy and certainly Not Serious Enough to eat cocktail weenies at the right parties or show up on teevee.

And even if....IF.....a few brave reporters in the traditional media kept going in the face of all the group disapproval, they'd have to fight like hell to get such a story past lame, suck-up, spineless mangement tools like New York Times' Editor Bill Keller.

I mean, those four reporters at the NYT watched Keller sit on their piece for months and then probably hack away most of the guts from it. Back in 2003. James Risen watched the Times editors sit on his FISA story for over a year because, as the Times management later explained it, they didn't want the story that Bush had illegally spied on tens of thousands of U.S. citizens to "influence" the 2004 election. They only published the story (after the election) because Risen was about to publish his book and out both the story and the Times' cowardly editors and publisher.

(Of course, I thought possibly influencing elections by informing citizen's of the abuse of power, was actually a raison d'etre of journalism, but hey, I don't get to eat too many cocktail weenies. either)

No, alas, I predict McCain is out of the woods, ollie, ollie in free. Because IOKIYAR. (It's okay if you are Republican)

Now if a Democratic candidate had been the subject of such a story, your analysis would be right on. They'd be toast.

Sigh. Life is unfair. I think the Dems can win this election anyways. But goddam, it sure is an uneven playing field.

harveyg said...

Two of the three primary contenders for the presidency, McCain and Clinton, have plenty of skeletons in their closets -- it goes with the territory of an experienced politician. Obama is so new he doesn't even have a closet, much less skeletons.

Why worry about past indiscretions -- one of these three WILL BE the next president -- lets focus on who will do the best job Today and Tomorrow.

Rob Levine said...

Okay Meg you're probably right. But it is nice for someone to laud my "hopeful spirit." I still think McCain could possibly be bitten by this thing. It's never good when you spend all day defending your own character.