Telecommunications Policy

McCain: Losing His Job in the New York Times?

|

Sure, he's racking up endorsements hither and yon (sweeping yon authoritatively, according to some polls), but the New York Times is holding something that could hurt (though, as David Weigel spelled out the other day, it's hard to hurt the essentially dead).

Drudge has the pre-skinny:

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz has been waging a ferocious behind the scenes battle with the NEW YORK TIMES, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned, and has hired DC power lawyer Bob Bennett to mount a bold defense against charges of giving special treatment to a lobbyist!

McCain has personally pleaded with NY TIMES editor Bill Keller not to publish the high-impact report involving key telecom legislation before the Senate Commerce Committee….

The paper's Jim Rutenberg has been leading the investigation and is described as beyond frustrated with McCain's aggressive and angry efforts to stop any and all publication.

The drama involves a woman lobbyist who may have helped to write key telecom legislation.

The woman in question has retained counsel and strongly denies receiving any special treatment from McCain.

Rutenberg, along with reporter David Kirkpatrick, has been developing the story for the last 6 weeks.

Rutenberg had hoped to break the story before the Christmas holiday, sources reveal, but editor Keller expressed serious reservations about journalism ethics and issuing a damaging story so close to an election.

If this is true, can anyone out there in journalism-ethics land explain to me how Keller deserves anything other than a kick out the door for this attitude?

For all the real story and analysis about McCain you can't find in the New York Times, read Matt Welch's new book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick.

NEXT: Know Thyself

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hiring a lawyer to shut up the NYT? Next thing you know, McCain will be trying to pass laws restricting the media.

    Oh, wait…

  2. Drudge has the pre-skinny:

    Drudge huh? Let me know when the NYT prints it.

  3. Dude, Drudge?

    Seriously?

  4. on an unrelated note…..

    Run Cynthia Run !

  5. I’ll believe it when it is on a reputable news outlet like Think Progress

  6. Question for Warren and Joe: Are you sitting on some hard numbers to indicate that Drudge is usually, or even often, wrong–not just sometimes wrong, which I shouldn’t think is enough to generate this level of snide? Like, it is a settled fact that one can reliably know that it is more likely than not, or even, say, 2 out of ten times true, that if Drudge does fresh reporting, that he’s wrong?
    I ask this question genuinely. I’m no Drudge scholar, and have not myself collecting this data.

  7. Speaking of Cynthia running: I’m surprised that the Nazi racist don’t give money to her campaign too. She practically makes their case for them.

    I keed, I keed.

  8. I’m sorry, does Think Progress have a lengthy record of running stories that are later proven to be complete bullshit?

    Because Drudge certainly does.

  9. C’mon. John McCain? The maverick, the independent? Lay on a bunch of special treatment for lobbyists? Never. Slander!

    Oh…wait…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keating_Five

  10. Brian,

    The best way to answer that question would be to search on Drudge in one of the media-criticism blogs.

  11. Those guys wouldn’t take cover from a tornado if it was reported on “Faux News”.

  12. Um, Warren is a libertarian-conservative.

    And since you didn’t notice, I don’t do that when bloggers link to Fox.

  13. Um, Warren is a libertarian-conservative.

    Are there two Warrens around here?

  14. Joe—I was able in a few minutes to find references to 7 or so scandal stories Drudge reported without there being lots of other media already saying the same thing, that from my minutes of reading seem as if they were never verified or were falsified (most via Media Matters), none of which I followed at the time. (Kerry affair, Edwards v. Oprah, Hillary tipping, etc.)
    However, minus data about what that represents as a percentage of his total fresh reporting, that isn’t sufficient to come to a conclusion that “if Drudge says it, it isn’t true”–in fact, as I think could fairly be inferred from your and Warren’s comments, that it is so obviously not true that one shouldn’t link to it even with a “If this is true…” caveat, which has been in the post from the beginning. I’m still not sure that’s the case. But I am willing to be convinced.

  15. or were falsified (most via Media Matters)

    Not exactly a reputable journalism outfit there.

  16. but editor Keller expressed serious reservations about journalism ethics and issuing a damaging story so close to an election.

    Ten months?

  17. It’s not drudge if the lead doesn’t have an a exclamation point at the end.

    And to all the people dissing Drudge, MOST of his stories do turn out to be true.

  18. Keller expressed serious reservations about journalism ethics and issuing a damaging story so close to an election

    Wait till the ” Barak Obama was my coke dealer” story breaks on the eve of super tuesday (or the SC Primary)

  19. Wait till the ” Barak Obama was my coke dealer” story breaks on the eve of super tuesday (or the SC Primary)

    Hes not gonna make it that far. Hillary will have him weeping in the fetal position by the middle of January.

  20. Warren | December 20, 2007, 6:51pm | #
    Drudge has the pre-skinny:

    Drudge huh? Let me know when the NYT prints it.

    Brian,
    You know, I could be mistaken here but Warren’s comment reads like a joke. Particularly given the line “Let me know when the NYT prints it.” Get it? NYT. The same paper who’s editor (Bill Keller) is the “bad guy” in this blog post of yours.

    Joe is serious but I don’t think that Warren is. That or I am wrong.

  21. Kwix–Yr probably right. Dammit, this proves that I CAN’T take a joke as well as the next fellow!

  22. For all the real story and analysis about McCain you can’t find in the New York Times, read Matt Welch’s new book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick.

    Does the Sierra Club ever complain about all the logrolling around here? It’s got to be an environmental catastrophe.

    jk jk, I’m on my way to purchase Radicals as penance for that…

  23. McCain will bounce back! Dana White from the UFC will endorse him and all will be well.

  24. So close to an election? Isn’t the presidential election 11 months away?

  25. First of all, Warren is a libertarian period.

    Brian,
    No I don’t have any special knowledge about the varsity of Drudge. I was under the (mistaken?) impression that it was common knowledge that Drudge was a tabloid site.

  26. Keating had a Cincinnati connection, so everyone here has known for years McCain was bribable. (What else is new about politicians?)

    Now McCain needs to hire Akbar at three dollars an hour to continually exclaim that his country needs to be bombed in order to save it. That would get his poll numbers up to maybe ten percent… somewhere.

    (How did he get such a foxy wife?)
    Ruthless

  27. If this is true, can anyone out there in journalism-ethics land explain to me how Keller deserves anything other than a kick out the door for this attitude?

    That’s why I doubt it’s as true as Drudge represents it. No newspaperman would turn that kind of scoop down.

    Now, if you want to argue whether the NYT is run by newspapermen, now that’s a compelling discussion.

  28. Actually, McCain has had a small bounce in the polls lately … check out the graph here.

    Looks like McCain’s picking up some of the people bailing from Giuliani’s campaign.

  29. I like drudge as a news portal, and he’s had some hits, but he’s certainly had enough misses that anytime I see “drudge exclusive” I’m automatically skeptical. Plus, there’s his hat.

  30. McCains also got a growing scandal coming out of Texas. One of his campaign workers has been arrested twice for credit card fraud and breaking into a vehicle.

    It just broke in a Dallas-area newspaper today.

    Ironically, ThirdPartyWatch.com first broke the story three days ago.

  31. What a scandal, Donderooooooooooooooooooooo! Anyone who can’t vet the people they hire well enough to make sure they don’t ever commit felonies is obviously unfit to be president.

  32. Lemme help:

    I’m sorry, does Think Progress [insert major media outlet here] have a lengthy record of running stories that are later proven to be complete bullshit?

  33. Joe and Warren –

    McCain personally acknowledged that his staff has been talking to the NY Times about this article. He only denied that he personally had begged them not to run it before the election.

    Chris Matthews, the Situation Room, etc. all covered McCain’s acknowledgement. He doesn’t acknowledge the facts of the article, of course, but Drudge’s story is only that the article exists as a work in progress, and McCain did acknowledge that.

    It’s a little late in the cycle of this story to shrug and say, “Hey, it’s only Drudge.”

  34. Plus, there’s his hat.

    Sole redeeming quality.

    Seriously though, Drudge has pulled things before and they generally tend to be in the gossipy vein of political coverage.

    He’s just a right wing gossip columnist, and gossip people get it wrong all the time. I saw this story somewhere else about 2 minutes before I saw it here, though, so I at least had some backup…

  35. What a scandal, Donderooooooooooooooooooooo! Anyone who can’t vet the people they hire well enough to make sure they don’t ever commit felonies is obviously unfit to be president.

    No worries, Giuliani will just start arresting people before they commit the felonies. For the children.

    In other 1984-esque news, I heard on the radio that Miami cops at the airport will be taking “Behavior Recognition Classes” to pick out people who might be thinking about doing something naughty…

  36. Brian,

    However, minus data about what that represents as a percentage of his total fresh reporting, that isn’t sufficient to come to a conclusion that “if Drudge says it, it isn’t true”

    That’s your standard? “We don’t know it’s NOT true. Sometimes Drudge’s stories are true.”

  37. McCain will bounce back! Dana White from the UFC will endorse him and all will be well.

    Triple-H and Sean Michaels just endorsed him! He’s a sure win! Vince McMahon for VP!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.