Monday, February 25, 2008

Is The NY Times Trying to Sink McCain?

LAST WEEK, the New York Times ran a story about Republican presidential candidate John McCain's connections to lobbying firms.

McCain has spent a great deal of his Senate tenure trying to rally Congress from relying so much on lobby groups and their potential ills.

But the Times story story went one step farther. They hinted the McCain, a married man, had an affair with lobbyist.

"A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet,"
the Times wrote. "Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him."

McCain, his aids and the lobbyist all denied rumors of an affair.

Was it fair for the Times to report the rumor? Does it matter to the public?

Is this good, investigative journalism or a partisan witch hunt?


Scott said...

I'd have to side with investigative journalism just for the fact that the New York Times gave McCain their official support. It seems a bit odd to do that and then suddenly print this story out of no where. Makes it seem like there is actually something up.

Nataly said...

No matter which side the New York Times is on they should have not published this story until there was hard proof. We live in a society where seeing a politician/celebrity gain bad publicity is seen as a form of entertainment. This story is a rumor and to me The New York Times diminishes their credibility because rumors are meant to be published in People Magazine or other such sources.

dan pizzuta said...

In a repsonse to over 2,000 comments on the Times article, the politcal editor of the Times adressed the issue of the Times backing McCain. He said that the news section and opinion sections are two different departments and do not consult each other about the endorsements. The McCain endorsement was from the opinion section.

The article, however, seemed to lack the hard evidence it should have had to make this a convincing story. To start with hinting on an affair, then jump around to McCain's political past, it just seemed that the Times was desperate to get this story out and just threw in whatever they had at that time that could somewhat damage McCain.

Jason Pearlman said...

I think it's okay to present these rumors, since they seem to be grounded in the eyewitness accounts of McCain's advisors. It's up to the readers to interpret this as a negative for him, or otherwise.

Personally, I think having mistresses is really cool.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand the NY Times. Sorry, I'm showing my bias. This "opinion" was on the front page. The NY Times is trying to shape government instead of just reporting on government. This is npt what we are supposed to do.
Pauk Klein (former J1111)

Guido said...

i dont really know what to think on this one. you have to think that the arguably the most well respected newspaper in the world checked their facts.(although jayson blair put it past them for how long???) You'd like to think that they had a credible source for this and made the decision to run it knowing how much it would stir up. McCain's defense was what every politician does, hold a press conference and deny it up and down. I think they obviously did some good investigating, because they found all this out, but maybe they could better spent their time reporting on something other than McCains sex life. because who really wants to think about John McCain getting it on? not me. anyways, i'm gonna go take a shower bc i feel really dirty after typing john mccains sex life.

Kevin Cook said...

I don't think its fair to report a rumor.
There must be hundreds of rumors everyday in politics and I don't think any of them get nearly as much coverage as this one did.

And unfortunately for McCain it came when he's about to win the Republican nomination. I'm suprised that this story was released now and not in Sept or Oct when the race heats up. It's obvious they are trying to hurt McCain, but all the drama will die down by then.

bryan leddy said...

could this be libel?

Geo said...

Is he a public figure? Did they knowingly publish false and damaging information?

- George (the teacher who is excited that you're actually referring to something I discussed during a class lecture)

Shannah Edmonds said...

Well McCain is a public figure and I suppose NY Times can say whatever the want about him to tarnish his name during such a crucial time in his career. I dont think this information will sway any smart voters because there is no evidence to support the claims.

Anonymous said...

The new york times did not publish false information in this case. They simply said that his top advisors were convinced of the ralationship. (see quote below)

"Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself —

They never once said he was having an affair, they simply reported the opinion of McCain's advisiors.

So, yes, I think this was good investigative journalism, and as much as everyone frowns on anything tabloid related, I'll admit, I found the article interesting. Don't get me wrong, I don't usually buy into rumors, but the article had some entertainment and informative value.
I'll also admit, I read tabloid magazines, as well as the newspaper everyday. I don't consider myself any less intelligent for being addicted to celebrity gossip and I am definately not ignorant or uninterested in what's going on in the world.
Just because a journalist reports a rumor, doesn't mean they have no interest in reporting serious news.