Thursday, February 21, 2008

This is journalism?

Today's New York Times has a long, top of the front page article on John McCain. The article is full of rehashed information on McCain's past and his brush with scandal in the 1980s. If the New York Times was a history magazine, I could see how this story should be prominent, but the Times is supposed to print "All the News That's Fit to Print".

There's no "news" here at all, but there is one juicy tidbit that is the only reason the Times ran this story:
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.

When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.

Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship.
The Times's sources are two former associates who have "become disillusioned" with McCain and John Weaver, who McCain fired last summer.

Gee, I wonder if it's possible these people have an ax to grind? There may be more substance to this story than appears in today's paper, but the Times better hurry it to print or we'll be left with nothing more than gutter journalism from the 'left wing press' for F. Finlay).

This has no place in the New York Times. Maybe it will damage McCain, but I actually doubt it. However, it could be very damaging for Vickie Iseman, who I hope is not married and does not have a family. This is garbage, pure and simple.