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« Bullet hits bullet: They said it couldn’t be done | Main | Salute Ralph Nader’s persistence »

February 21, 2008


jj mollo

Bush smeared McCain in 2000 with a story about his supposedly illicit mixed-race daughter. It cost McCain the nomination and was totally bogus, actually casting a virtue as if it were a sin. McCain is better at refuting this kind of nonsense than he used to be.

Frank Warner

Geez, I missed that one altogether. Bush did that?

I know some were trying to claim McCain did the wrong thing when the Communists offered him a chance to leave prison early, and he refused the preferential treatment.

I totally missed the love-child smear.

jj mollo

Here's the description by his 2000 campaign manager, Richard H. Davis, written in 2004, ostensibly to prevent a smear campaign in the Bush/Kerry election. IMO, it didn't work.

Frank Warner

Even Davis doesn't say Bush ordered or knew about those phone calls, the "push polls." There are some nasty people out there.

I don't understand the rabid attacks on McCain, and particularly The Times' dirty trick, the unfounded allegations of which managed to find its way into newspapers across the nation.

Still, I wouldn't say McCain "refuted" what The Times published. The report was almost too vague to refute. Its own flimsiness seems to have refuted its major points.

Even The Times ombudsman Clark Hoyte says the story as written isn't really a story. "[A]lthough it raised one of the most toxic subjects in politics -- sex -- it offered readers no proof that McCain and (Vicki) Iseman had a romance," Hoyte said, noting that the story contends former McCain aides were "convinced" of an affair, and yet the story never says what convinced them. If they weren't giving their names, why couldn't they at least give one credible detail?

Now, instead of owning up to its bad journalism with apologies and resignations, The Times editors and reporters are picking on minor inconsistencies in McCain's denial. Bottom line: No obvious favors were provided, and no evidence of an affair was found. Worse: The Times left out key words in the side of the story that McCain provided Times editors and reporters.

Next, The Times will be saying McCain produced a "love child" while he was writing the immigration bill. The ombudsman will say the story was wrong, The Times won't repair its damage, and the cycle will begin again.

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