The McCain article: The Times responds

The Old Gray Lady (or what James Taranto called today The Old Gray Bimbo) is in full damage control mode today on the lame McCain smear story, and the readers are not happy.

The readers:

  • "I must say that the McCain article left me embarrassed for your paper. So little substance, but trumpeted prominently as though you somehow had the goods on him or were raising burning questions. It makes it look like your reporters or editors had an ax to grind. I hope they didn't. Question: Do you read the coverage of your coverage? Did you see the piece at slate.com ridiculing your paper for this? Doesn't it smart?"

  • "Why did The New York Times strongly endorse Senator McCain to be the Republican Party nominee in January, if at the same time the paper was well aware of and continuing to investigate what it considered to be front-page, damaging, “un-presidential” charges?"

Although it is the policy of The FDC not to partake in schadenfreude, but in this case it is a bit fun to witness The Times twisting in the wind.

The Times' David Brooks has in tomorrow's paper an inside peek at the McCain campaign, and notest that:

"At his press conference Thursday, McCain went all-in. He didn’t just say he didn’t remember a meeting about Iseman. He said there was no meeting. If it turns out that there is evidence of an affair and a meeting, then his presidential hopes will be over. If no evidence surfaces, his campaign will go on and it will be clear that there were members of his old inner circle consumed by viciousness and mendaciousness. "

Rick Moran examines the carcass of the smear.


The Times ombudsman doesn't agree with Bill Keller's spin of his four reporters lame smear of McCain:

"A newspaper cannot begin a story about the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee with the suggestion of an extramarital affair with an attractive lobbyist 31 years his junior and expect readers to focus on anything other than what most of them did. And if a newspaper is going to suggest an improper sexual affair, whether editors think that is the central point or not, it owes readers more proof than The Times was able to provide."

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