The New York Times Finally Gives John McCain “The Republican Treatment”

“I’m not even going to pull the (New York Times) passage for further circulation, but unnamed sources think there might have been a sex scandal but aren’t really sure, which may or may not have been connected to an ethics scandal that they’re not even sure existed, the evidence for which all comes from eight years ago, and which naturally warrants dredging up the details of an actual ethics scandal for which McCain was punished and has duly apologized and seen-the-light for incessantly since it happened, ahem, 20 years ago.” — Mary Katharine Ham

A few days ago, a blogger mailing list that I ended up on somehow made note of a story about Barack Obama. Long story short, there is a guy named Larry Sinclair out there claiming that he snorted cocaine with Barack Obama in 1999 and then went down on him.

Is that true? I have no idea. But the general sentiment on that mailing list seemed to be that story was beneath us and that as conservative bloggers, we shouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

I had a different reaction. When I saw the story, I sent a one word reply: “Linked!” — and it was, on Conservative Grapevine, right before I sent out the email.

Why? Because not only does the Left side of the blogosphere have zero qualms about promoting this kind of story when it involves Republicans, the mainstream media has absolutely no qualms about it either.

When a Democrat is accused of some sort of affair, the mainstream media is extremely concerned about making 100% sure the story is drop dead accurate, down to the last detail, before they’ll even begin to think about printing the story. That’s why Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story to the public, not the MSM. It’s also why stories about affairs involving John Kerry, John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton have been buried or not printed at all in most MSM outlets over the last few years.

However, when a Republican is involved, Weekly Week World News standards become the order of the day and no excuse is too flimsy to run a story about an alleged scandal.

Unfortunately for John McCain, now that he’s the Republican nominee for President, the MSM has revoked his “honorary Democrat” status and is treating him just like any other Republican, which is why the New York Times has published one of the flimsiest, most insubstantial smear pieces since their attacks on George Bush in 2004.

In short, the New York Times rehashed the 20 year old Keating Five affair and accused McCain of being unethical and having an affair based on, well, almost nothing.

The hotter story is, of course, the allegation Johnny Mac was playing the field. Here’s the evidence that the New York Times has for that stunning allegation, that both McCain and the woman he’s supposed to have had an affair with, Vicki Iseman, deny…

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. 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.

…Mr. Black said Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman were friends and nothing more. But in 1999 she began showing up so frequently in his offices and at campaign events that staff members took notice. One recalled asking, “Why is she always around?”

That February, Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman attended a small fund-raising dinner with several clients at the Miami-area home of a cruise-line executive and then flew back to Washington along with a campaign aide on the corporate jet of one of her clients, Paxson Communications. By then, according to two former McCain associates, some of the senator’s advisers had grown so concerned that the relationship had become romantic that they took steps to intervene.

A former campaign adviser described being instructed to keep Ms. Iseman away from the senator at public events, while a Senate aide recalled plans to limit Ms. Iseman’s access to his offices.

… In interviews, the two former associates said they joined in a series of confrontations with Mr. McCain, warning him that he was risking his campaign and career. Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman. The two associates, who said they had become disillusioned with the senator, spoke independently of each other and provided details that were corroborated by others.

Separately, a top McCain aide met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station in Washington to ask her to stay away from the senator. John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said in an e-mail message that he arranged the meeting after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about her.

“Our political messaging during that time period centered around taking on the special interests and placing the nation’s interests before either personal or special interest,” Mr. Weaver continued. “Ms. Iseman’s involvement in the campaign, it was felt by us, could undermine that effort.”

So, ah — where’s the beef? McCain’s staff thought he was hanging around with an attractive female lobbyist too much, was concerned that it would look bad, and asked him to stop (probably out of fear that it would end up in the New York Times one day). So far, so good. But, I don’t see a single specific allegation in there that McCain and Iseman ever slept together, kissed, went on a date, or for that matter, were ever even alone together. Yet, on Drudge, we have, “McCain forced to deny romantic link with lobbyist…”

It’s a rotten, irresponsible story that doesn’t even meet the standards of the Larry Sinclair story. At least in that story, you have an actual person, willing to go on the record and make an allegation that he had sex and cocaine with Barack Obama. In the end, Sinclair’s tale may be every bit as bogus as the NYT hit piece that just came out in the Times, but that begs a question: is there any reason that the McCain “affair” story is in the New York Times and the Obama “affair” story isn’t that goes beyond the fact that McCain is a Republican and Obama is a Democrat?

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