I, like most people, think the New York Times did a bad job with its recent John McCain expose – beyond the sexual innuendo played for more than the article shows it’s worth, a lot of my criticism is about who decides the timing of publishing articles. I can’t help but think that had the New York Times told us about George Bush’s secret illegal wiretapping, before the 2004 election ended, that we might be experiencing the first term of President John Kerry. Perhaps an earlier, more straight-forward story on the influence of a lobbyist on McCain would have led to Mitt Romney staying in the GOP primary this year – and who knows which candidate Republican voters might have ultimately picked between McCain, Romney and Mike Huckabee. Newspapers shouldn’t pick their timing based on avoiding affecting elections – voters deserve the right to make judgments based on the best available information (and the reliability and relevance of the information should be the standard for release). Also, as a New York Times reader, or any newspaper reader, I deserve to know the standard of when I can expect news (or not expect it) – especially if it’s based on judgments of timing issues as opposed to reliability and relevance. But beyond the criticism of the New York Times McCain piece, I’m struck by how much better Jonathan Chait’s recent article, “McCain: The cold calculations of the Straight Talker,” is – it’s one you should really read if you want to better understand why Republicans hate John McCain, and why Democrats can’t trust him either.
politics is about the people – and I'm one of them