Tags: NY | Times | Smears | McCain

NY Times Smears McCain

Thursday, 21 Feb 2008 08:55 AM

By Phil Brennan

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In a Feb. 21 story, "For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk," NY Times reporters dredged up rumors of an illicit romance between the Senator and a woman lobbyist; raked over the embers of a scandal in the distant past in which McCain had played a minor role and for which he got a slap in the wrist while four other senate colleagues were censured, with three losing their senate seats; and suggested that McCain had taken campaign contributions from lobbyists -- just like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

To give weight to the suggestion of some alleged hanky panky between the Senator and the lady lobbyist, the Times called upon anonymous sources who seemed eager to spread their suspicions, as long as their names go unmentioned.

Two of the sources quoted, however -- campaign manager Rick Davis and Mark Salter, McCain’s top strategists in both of his presidential campaigns -- disputed accounts from the anonymous former associates and aides, and said they did not discuss the lady with the senator or colleagues.

“I never had any good reason to think that the relationship was anything other than professional, a friendly professional relationship,” Mr. Salter told the Times.

He and Mr. Davis also said Mr. McCain had frequently denied requests from the lobbyist and the companies she represented. In 2006, Mr. McCain sought to break up cable subscription packages, which some of her clients opposed. And his proposals for satellite distribution of local television programs fell short of her clients’ hopes.

The McCain aides said the senator sided with the lobbyist's clients only when their positions hewed to his principles.

That, however, did not stop the Times from allowing their squad of anonymous informants to all but openly accuse this American hero of adultery and favoritism toward the lobbyist with no proof.

The Keating Five scandal involved five U.S. Senators, four of whom met in 1987 with a federal regulator seeking to intervene and forestall a potential government investigation of a failing savings and loan Association.

MCain joined the others in a second meeting and the government relented and did not act for another two years, costing investors and depositors tens-of-millions of dollars and taxpayers $3.4 billion.

Of the five only McCain had a personal reason to defend the S&L head, Charles Keating -- he was both a close personal friend and a constituent and even a partner in one enterprise with Mrs. Cindy MCCain. Unlike the other four senators, McCain was not censured and was merely accused of having shown "poor judgment."

One source who wasn't ashamed to allow his name to be used was William P. Cheshire, a friend of Mr. McCain who as editorial page editor of The Arizona Republic had defended him during the Keating Five scandal. “He is essentially an honorable person,” he told the Times. “But he can be imprudent.”

He added “That imprudence or recklessness may be part of why he was not more astute about the risks he was running with this shady operator [Keating].”

“I would very much like to think that I have never been a man whose favor can be bought,” the Times said McCain wrote about his Keating experience in his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For.”

“From my earliest youth, I would have considered such a reputation to be the most shameful ignominy imaginable. Yet that is exactly how millions of Americans viewed me for a time, a time that I will forever consider one of the worst experiences of my life.”

John McCain is American hero, who suffered horribly at the hands of his Vietnanmese captors.

John McCain forgave the North Vietnamese. The New York Times won't forgive John McCain for showing poor judgment over 20 years ago in the Keating Five affair.

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