Sunday, February 24, 2008

NYT ombudsman slams article on McCain

The NYT should have published the story back in December, or earlier, whatever info or purported info the newspaper's reporters had gathered, even though second-hand and anonymous sources were used.

For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk
Published: February 21, 2008
WASHINGTON — Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.

...(Page 4 of 4)

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.

Separately, a top McCain aide met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station in Washington to ask her to stay away from the senator. John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said in an e-mail message that he arranged the meeting after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about her.

“Our political messaging during that time period centered around taking on the special interests and placing the nation’s interests before either personal or special interest,” Mr. Weaver continued. “Ms. Iseman’s involvement in the campaign, it was felt by us, could undermine that effort.”

Mr. Weaver added that the brief conversation was only about “her conduct and what she allegedly had told people, which made its way back to us.” He declined to elaborate.

It is not clear what effect the warnings had; the associates said their concerns receded in the heat of the campaign.

Ms. Iseman acknowledged meeting with Mr. Weaver, but disputed his account.


McCain Denies Allegations of a Relationship with Iseman
John and Cindy McCain hold a press conference to confront accusations of an unsavory relationship
By Liz Halloran
Posted February 21, 2008

The newspaper, quoting former McCain aide John Weaver, reported that during his 2000 run for president, the senator's aides had warned her to stay away from him. And it detailed actions by the senator that benefited Iseman's client...

Weaver told the Times he arranged a meeting with Iseman in 1999 to tell her to keep her distance from the senator after aides became concerned that the relationship had become romantic. McCain said Weaver remains a friend and said he thought he last saw Iseman, whom he also characterized as a friend, several months ago at an event.

Apparently then, a named source provided info to the NYT about concerns.

The NYT had to go with the story to perform its due diligence. Had it left out anything, even this:

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. 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, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

The job of the press isn't to play favorites or distort information, or leave out information they've obtained, even when information is provided by anonymous sources.

The people who believe they can run for the highest office in the U.S. and not have to face scrutiny as if they are under a microscope shouldn't be running for that office.

Lay out the information, and let the people use common sense to determine whether or not the information proves whatever case is made.

(Net the Truth Online)

New York Times ombudsman slams article on McCain
Feb 23 06:48 PM US/Eastern
The New York Times' ombudsman strongly criticized the newspaper's insinuation this week that White House hopeful John McCain had a tryst with a female lobbyist 31 years his junior, nearly 10 years ago...

Mr. McCain said that the relationship was not romantic and that he never showed favoritism to Ms. Iseman or her clients. “I have never betrayed the public trust by doing anything like that,” he said. He made the statements in a call to Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, to complain about the paper’s inquiries.

The senator declined repeated interview requests, beginning in December. He also would not comment about the assertions that he had been confronted about Ms. Iseman, Mr. Black said Wednesday.

Anyone who has ever dealt with the Press understands you make every attempt to deflect that which isn't even mentioned, to divert attention from that which is.

(Net the Truth Online)

The McCain World Rift DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 22, 2008

...McCain was loyal to each camp in a house divided. But the poisons emanating from the rift have spread outward. They are the background for the article my colleagues at The New York Times published Thursday.
At the core of that article that began on the front page are two anonymous sources. These sources, according to the article, say they confronted McCain in 1999 with their concerns that he was risking his career by interacting with Vicki Iseman. As a columnist, I’m an independent operator, speaking for myself alone. I have no idea who those sources are. But they are bound to come from the inner circle of the McCain universe. The number of people who could credibly claim to have had a meeting like that with McCain in early 1999 is vanishingly small. I count a small handful of associates with that stature, including Davis and Weaver. There is nobody in that tight circle unaffected by the hostilities that emanate from the rift.

Thursday, as McCain was fervently and completely denying the allegations of an affair with Iseman, people in all quarters of the McCain universe were vehemently denying it, too. But even on this embattled day, they broke down into rival camps over the identity of the sources.

Many in the Davis camp argued Thursday that Weaver must be the chief anonymous source, and that he had roped in one other confederate. He’s had a hard life, they said, and is driven by demons.

From The TimesFebruary 21, 2008

John McCain forced to deny romantic link with lobbyist
Tim Reid in Austin, Texas
The potentially most damaging allegations contained in the article centre on Mr McCain's reported conflicts of interests in the areas of political funding and lobbying. He has built a reputation as a scourge of the excesses of both but is accused of several instances of hypocrisy.

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