McCain vs. The New York Times

It would seem to be a good time for John McCain right about now.  His poll numbers are slowly creeping up, there are whispers among political wonks that he might be able to pull off a New Hampshire upset which could possibly put him right back in the hunt, and with the topsy turvy nature of the rest of the field, with Giuliani plummeting, Romney stalling, and the very unlikely Huckabee buoyed on a voter bubble that could pop any second now, there is definitely room for the old Maverick to sneak on through the frontrunner turmoil.

Everything seems to slowly turning his way.  Or is it?

According to Drudge, there’s a story out there right now that could sink the McCain campaign just as its about to recapture its stride.  And while it may not be about an illegitimate black daughter (for more on that, search South Carolina, McCain, and push poll), it does involve that most dreaded of words for an electorate that views Washington as dirty and only at the beck and call of corporate interests: lobbyist.

Apparently, the Old Gray Lady’s Jim Rutenberg and David Kirkpatrick have been digging for about 6 weeks on a story that has McCain offering special treatment to a telecom lobbyist in regards to legislation.

What’s worse is that McCain has been battling the NYT to keep the story out of the paper.  Editor Bill Keller has resisted the reporters’ push to publish the story for journalistic ehtics reasons, more specifically releasing a damaging report so close to election time.

Here’s the problem.  I can imagine no more serious journalistic ethic than the timely reporting of a story BECAUSE it’s close to election time, so long as the story checks out.  Not doing so prevents the electorate to make a fully informed vote.

This is not, might I add, the same as Swift Boating.  That was a seriously journalistic failure across the board considering that the story filled weeks worth of news cycles prior to being vetted for validity.  In so doing, the mainstream media allowed baseless lies that have since been debunked sink a national campaign.

On the other hand, vetted stories, stories with justification that directly impact a candidate’s message and their ability to hold office should be ran, even if right before an election.  Most specifically for the White House.

Caveat emptor.  Buyer beware.  I get that, I really do.  But in this caveat emptor kind of political world, it is the media’s responsibility to act as Consumer Reports.  Woe be to them, and unfortunately us, if they decide not to report on the negative findings of the products.

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  1. Chuck Adkins » What is the deal with the Conservatives and McCain? - [...] Washington Post, Wizbang, Associated Press, Wonkette, Publius Endures, Comments from Left Field, Flopping Aces, Unfogged, DBKP, The Campaign Spot,…

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