Thursday, February 21, 2008

NYT Hits Bottom, Digs 

When I heard about the Times' article that rehashes eight year old rumors about Sen. McCain and a female lobbyist and insinuates (without revealing sources) that McCain's relationship with the woman was less than above-board, I turned to my wife and said, "I wonder how long they've been sitting on that story." My next thought, upon hearing that the story is largely based on anonymous sources, was, "The Times is turning into the Globe, or maybe a new version of the Weekly World News."

Now that I've read the article, IMHO it is nothing more or less than a political hit piece evidently intended to raise doubts about McCain's fitness for the Presidency and make him seem at best a hypocrite about ethics. Not only does the piece bring up events of almost a decade ago in a way that makes it seem that they were much more recent, it rehashes McCain's involvement in the so-called Keating Five scandal of twenty years ago. By way of background, don't ya know. It's artfully done--the lead sentence refers to Mr. McCain't presidential campaign of eight years ago, but then goes on to mix current and dated statements in a way that gives the impression of immediacy. In fact the piece adds nothing new about McCain, it just rakes up old stuff to roil the waters.

As to the subject matter itself, the piece tries mightily to make a mountain over what appears to me to be the most trivial sort of molehill. But guess what--whether it's true or not, I don't care!

As Perry Mason would say, the whole piece is "irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial." It is irrelevant to a much greater extent than Mr. Clinton's dalliances with "that woman, Ms. Lewinski," which, as any Democrat will tell you (and the NYT probably editorialized) had no bearing on Mr. Clinton's abilities to carry out his Presidential duties. It is incompetent because it is so largely based on anonymous sources, who being unnamed cannot be assessed with respect to their knowledge, recall or any other factor relating to their dependability and truthfulness. It is immaterial because it relates to events that happened in the distant past which shrink to insignificance when compared to Mr. McCain's public record.

I lived in NYC during the late 1950s, and I recall the differences between the New York Times and the New York Post as they then were. Looking at the two papers today, one might form the opinion that ever so slowly they are evolving in a way that will result in their changing places.

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