I met Ed Morrissey last year after reading his blog every day for several years and have had the pleasure of conversing with him, and by all definitions of the word he’s an affable and polite gentleman who measures his words and is not prone to anger.
That makes it all the more enjoyable to watch him bring out the big stick and pound it hard.
His target? This beaut from the NYT, which has become a yellow journalism tabloid: For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk, in which the Times suggests unproven adultery by McCain.
Essentially the NYT is speculating on whether “female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet” – as lobbyists are prone to do – and a possible “close bond” amounted to an affair (of which there is absolutely no proof) eight years ago.
That’s right folks, two Presidential election cycles ago. That’s fifty six dog years.
The NYT’s position strikes me a ridiculous and sexist. I have worked with men all my life and have developed close friendships that will never amount to sexual affairs, but if one’s to go by the NYT criteria every woman in the world can be the target of such allegations.
But I digress.
Here’s Ed’s response:
Got that? Nothing actually happened. The big story here is that there may have been an “appearance” of a “close bond”.
And where did the Times get this information? Well, you have to read past the rehash of the Keating Five scandal of the mid-1980s, past a strange accusation involving McCain’s use of direct flights from Washington to Phoenix, and past his crusade to clean up Washington through the BCRA (which I adamantly opposed and still do) to get to the Slimes’ sourcing. It turns out that they talked to two anonymous former staffers — neither of whom allege that the relationship actually became romantic — and who describe themselves as disgruntled.
Great sourcing there, guys. Way to corroborate a non-story. I guess Lucy Ramirez must have been hard to find this time around.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. JIM RUTENBERG, MARILYN W. THOMPSON, DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and STEPHEN LABATON all show the kind of journalistic chops that made Us such a must-read in doctor’s offices and lavatories around the world. The next time, they need to include more pictures of Britney Spears exiting limousines to capture the essence of this kind of reporting.
They don’t have those pictures, but they’re willing to show the motorcade to the psychiatric ward. Which apparently has them too busy to be interviewed on the radio about the McCain story: Patrick Hynes was resoundedly turned down when he invited Rutenberg, who also said no one else at the Slimes was willing to come to Patrick’s radio show.
Race 4 2008 has more on the FCC aspect of the story.