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Business 101

Sell a good product. Make money.
Specialize in a certain demographic and make less? Lay off employees. Make your business bankrupt?
The NY Times… what exactly are they up to?

This story about the New York Times is quite interesting. Yes. About the Times - not about McCain.

Sell papers. Make money.
Sell MORE papers. Get more advertisers. Make more money.
Would the Times do better if they just created a section that is honest about their political ideas? Had a tabloid section? Stopped trying to force an agenda upon their readers?
Franklin must be rolling in his grave!!

Why would any legitimate NEWSpaper make their front page story a questionable jab in tabloid form?
I don't read the NYTimes. I don't care to spend the money to have it mailed to me.
I don't know if they actually have a tabloid section.

First the newspaper endorses McCain, then they run a story (that they had before the endorsement) to try and hurt his campaign.
The big question is why???

Most of us, over a certain age I guess, believe that a newspaper is supposed to be neutral.
They are supposed to give us the news, the whole news, and nothing but the news.

Newspapers, and television news programs, are not supposed to hold or release stories based on how they think these stories will impact an election.
We have tabloid papers, and entertainment shows, to break stories on elicit affairs.
We have enough news/talk shows to analyze news & people. We don't need what we consider to be actual news programs doing the same thing. I don't watch the ABC Evening News every night for opinions. I watch it for the NEWS. Where is the news????

Granted, if they really wanted to sabotage McCain, they would have held the story until a couple days before the November election.
Did they release this tidbit to us now to effect the democrat campaign in some way? Hillary has more baggage than Obama. Does this implied affair story about McCain somehow remind people of what the nation went through with the Clintons and turn them against Hillary?

Everyone is focused on the damage - or help - this story has given McCain. What about Hillary?

Posted by Dawn at February 22, 2008 11:17 PM
Comment #246164

Newspapers have to be extremely careful when they run a story like this. Make no mistake Dawn, this story was allowed to run only because it actually “had legs”, as they say. John McCain went out of his way to help Ms. Iseman - whatever their relationship was - and that’s news.

Freedom of the Press. I’ve never considered it fair to attack the messenger. They’re only doing their job, and when they’re doing it well, our eyes should water with tears of gratefulness. Vetting candidates for the presidency is important. That goes for ALL the candidates. The sad truth is, no politician is clean, and personally, I want ALL of the dirt on EVERY one of them. We the People usually end up just trying to choose the least soiled.
You know it’s true.

The American Press seriously let us down after 9/11, and we’ve suffered (big time) as a result. When I see that they’re finally recovering from that unforgivable lapse, I find it more than a little annoying to hear wails of complaint directed at those who have carefully waded through all kinds of muck in order to finally deliver the truth.

Posted by: veritas vincit at February 23, 2008 1:48 AM
Comment #246165
Did they release this tidbit to us now to effect the democrat campaign in some way?

I hope you’ll forgive me for correcting you, Dawn. This sentence should read:

“Did they release this tidbit to us now to affect the Democrat’s campaign in some way?”

I can’t stand the popular, all-purpose usage of “democrat” when “Democrat’s” or “Democratic” is actually called for.

To reply to the question: Personally, I do think that they’ve been sitting on this story for awhile, and that their lawyers had to have been heavily involved with this one before it ran. But, I think it’s more likely that McCain’s sanctimonious comments directed at Obama over Public Financing for the General Election might have more to do with why they finally ran with it than anything having to do with Hillary.

Posted by: veritas vincit at February 23, 2008 2:09 AM
Comment #246172

It is not attacking the messenger to explain that the message is wrong.

Beyond that, journalists are more than mere messengers. The messenger is the guy who delivers the paper. Nobody attacked him. The journalists are the creators of the message and so are responsible for its veracity.

There is much more to media bias and message than the stories themselves, BTW. It is possible to tell the exact truth and still be biased and manipulative. It depends on what and how the media covers and event. If you want to trash somebody, just investigate him. You are bound to find something in even the most perfect life that is - or looks - nefarious.

Re spin - I don’t know why NYT chose to go with such a half-baked story. It is rebounding to the McCain advantage. He could not have asked for a better favor than to have the NYT attack him with the implication that an old guy like him had a special relationship with such a beautiful and sophisticated woman. The allegations seem to be untrue, but if it was me I would be proud (1) to be so attractive at an advanced age and (2) not to be associated with the trailer trash Bill Clinton favored.

I feel sorry for the democrat :) party if this is the best they can do.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2008 8:55 AM
Comment #246177

So Jack and Dawn, what exactly is untrue in the story?

Will, you guys be leading the libel suit?

Oh, wait, no lawsuit because that would distract from the campaign, or…..maybe there is no grounds for one….

IF you don’t get that McCain is a rich butt sniffing political dog….wake up. His smiling face on the Keating FBI tape should have told you that.

Obama and Clinton are no better, why weren’t you whining about the NYT stories on them?

Posted by: googlumpugus at February 23, 2008 9:21 AM
Comment #246178

BTW Jack,

Just because false argument botheres me, a messenger delivers a message. A newspaperboy delivers a newspaper. Since the editorial staff is responsible for the message in this situation they are the messenger. Any standard use of the allegory of not critcizing the messenger would refer to them. Let’s stick to english here, not Karl Rove’s handbook of torture of the English language handbook. Irregardless of how much Republicans enjoy torturing anything. The English language is entirely innocent here.

Posted by: googlumpugus at February 23, 2008 9:30 AM
Comment #246183


I am surprised how many conservatives have taken the angle that this story makes McCain look youthful and virile. When Democrats are accused of adultery, this is supposed to mean that the public can’t trust them. If he would deceive his own wife…

In summary,

Democratic adulterer = lying bastard
Republican adulterer = stud

Double standard, anyone? (Yes, Jack, I know you supported Clinton. But that is not true of most of McCain’s defenders.)


Here is what I think the NYT is thinking: The entire newspaper business is in trouble. Nobody wants to pay for news when they can get it for free over the Internet. So how do you get people to pay for something that other providers offer for free? The answer is to add extra value. What the NYT has apparently decided to do is offer investigative reporting that works mostly to one party’s advantage. (I do think the NYT has been largely even-handed in the past, outside of the opinion pages.) By subscribing to the NYT, readers can now subsidize investigations of Republicans. This is probably more effective than giving to MoveOn. To make it work, though, they do to maintain certain journalistic standards. I don’t think we know yet whether they crossed the line in this case.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 23, 2008 10:27 AM
Comment #246188


As I understand the “shoot the messenger” concept, it refers to the old days when one leader would send an unpleasant message to another and the recipient would attack the person bringing the message instead of the originator of the message.

Journalists are message creators. They are not mere conduits. I think they would be unhappy to be characterized as such and it is not accurate.

If you were to use the messenger allegory you have to specify where the message came from in the first place. The answer is that the NYT created the message. They are not the messenger - UNLESS they just took the story from an operative of another candidate and just passed it along. In that case, they would be the messenger. Some people have indeed accused them of just being a messenger. I do not hold with that interpretation.


There are two responses. (1) I do not think McCain did it. That is important to me, although as you point out I do not hold it against Clinton as a terminal flaw. (2) the details are very different even if you assume #1 is not true. Let me elaborate.

In the Clinton case, he took advantage of inexperienced interns, exotic dancers and trailer trash. These are not the kinds of successes most men would be proud about. It is much more in the nature of exploitation and/or skank hunting.

If the HYPOTHETICAL case of JM, you have an attractive, educated grown up woman. In addition, when a 45-year-old man seduces a 20-year-old intern, he is a kind of perve. We often define this as sexual harassment or exploitation. This kind of thing does not even deserve the term “affair”. When a 65 year old man has an affair with a thirty something woman, who is sophisticated and accomplished in her own right, it is a different situation. I understand that these categories are culturally based, but I think if we are honest all of us can understand the distinctions.

I think adultery is always wrong and knowing that someone has done it lessens my estimation of him/her, but as in the Clinton case, it is not a deal breaker for me with a politician.

Re Clinton support – I supported Clinton because he was our president and I think he did a competent job. I would not count myself as a “Clinton supporter” however.

Re Old men - I am a nearly generation younger than McCain, but I already feel the sting of being old enough to be nearly invisible to younger women. The fact the John McCain at a more advanced age can still turn heads impressess me in that viseral, pleistocene way. No matter how much the veneer of our modern PC civilization cries out against it, I have to just say that McCain is the man.

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2008 12:45 PM
Comment #246191


Bill Clinton’s philandering was considered newsworthy long before he met an intern. Remember the “bimbo eruptions” of the 1992 campaign? I don’t remember a lot of Republicans rushing to his defense and saying it was off-limits. Quite the contrary… Not to mention other Democrats like Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson who have been publicly shamed for their zipper problems.

If the Republicans want to claim McCain is innocent, that is one thing. If you guys want to claim that it DOESN’T MATTER whether he is innocent, then that is rank hypocrisy that any neutral observer will recognize. It is that kind of hypocrisy that hurt the GOP so much in 2006.

I don’t really see how the cultural sophistication of the beloved is relevant to the argument.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 23, 2008 1:09 PM
Comment #246193


“So Jack and Dawn, what exactly is untrue in the story?”

it’s not up to jack or dawn to prove the story untrue. it is up to the nyt to prove the story true. until thier ready to name names and prove the credibility of thier sources this is nothing more than inuendo. show me the beef. this is why the nyt is no longer considered by most to be a reliable source of news.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2008 1:20 PM
Comment #246194

Here’s your business 101:

Trust your insurance company?

Posted by: womanmarine at February 23, 2008 1:21 PM
Comment #246201

I am not claiming it doesn’t matter. The differece with Clinton is that he was a hound dog when it came to the pootang. His campaign had to set up a whole organization, as you say, to deal with bimbo eruptions. The same goes for Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson.

John McCain does not have a reputation like Clinton’s. There are no bimbo eruptions. Even this accusation is not a bimbo and there is no indication that he did anything wrong at all.

So I do indeed claim that McCain is innocent of this charge.

Or put another way, there is exactly as much evidence that John McCain strayed as there is that Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton did.

What exactly in this story is untrue?

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2008 2:20 PM
Comment #246204
…there is exactly as much evidence that John McCain strayed as there is that Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton did.

Have you any Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama gone on the record with the kind of accusations that two McCain staffers made?

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 23, 2008 2:47 PM
Comment #246208


“Have you any Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama gone on the record with the kind of accusations that two McCain staffers made?”

what are thier names? where is thier proof? do they have an axe to grind? when these questions are answered then we can continue this conversation. until then they, and you have no credibility. this is at this point a witch hunt, and smear campaign, nothing more.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2008 2:55 PM
Comment #246211


Democratic adulterer = lying bastard

Republican adulterer = stud

Double standard, anyone?

Nail on the head there, Woody. And while we’re talking double standards, here’s another:

Kerry, married to Heiress = Money Grubbing Gigolo
McCain, married to Heiress = Successful Candidate

Posted by: veritas vincit at February 23, 2008 3:06 PM
Comment #246214


i find the timing of this story highly suspicious. it also tells me that someone is obviously extremely worried about mc cains chances of winning the general election. if a story like this should appear about hillary or obama, there’s now doubt in my mind that we will be hearing cries of foul, and smear tactics, by the left on this blog. personally i don’t like this type of garbage regaurdless of who’s doing it. it would be nice to see two candidates run on the issues, and stop this type of crap.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2008 3:22 PM
Comment #246217


I agree it would be better if the anonymice came out of hiding and confronted McCain directly.

As for myself, I don’t have or need any credibility on this issue. All I know is what I read in the paper.

Posted by: Woody mena at February 23, 2008 3:38 PM
Comment #246263


John McCain does not have a reputation like Clinton’s. There are no bimbo eruptions. Even this accusation is not a bimbo and there is no indication that he did anything wrong at all.

No one has a reputation, including Clinton, until it is known.

Kennedy did not have a “reputation” until people began to tell the truth.

Again, the shoot the messenger analogy is clear and your attempts to rewrite english simply does not fly.

The times did not write fiction, they reported what others said. They did not say there was an affair.

Again, making sex the issue is bizarre. Sure, it’s more fun. The point of the article was lobbyist influence. From his beginnings as a politician, McCain has sought out wealthy people with whom he traded inluence. It is his blindness to this image problem when he makes honesty and straight dealing a them of his campaign, that this article addresses. Again, in fairness, he’s not the only candidate with this problem.

It doesn’t surprise me that you defend this Bimbo eruption, and blame the messenger while deriding Clinton. It’s your modus operandi. It speaks to your inability to see things fairly. It was the same problem when you avered for Bush. It seems to be a Republican blindness, intentional or not.

Posted by: googlumpugus at February 24, 2008 9:22 AM
Comment #246274

Talk about business as usual: Here comes Nader:

Nader announces another presidential bid

Posted by: womanmarine at February 24, 2008 10:30 AM
Comment #246279


I just believe that the journalist who wrote the article created the message. Hence he is not merely the messenger. IF he is the messenger, please tell me who originated the message?

Besides, I have criticized the story and its basis. I have not said anything in particualar about the NYT except to point out that they did not do a good job at their research.

You read what I write. You obviously do not think criticizing my stuff is attacking the messenger. I do not expect you to be any different. I try as hard as the NYT to tell the truth but like those who write for the NYT I write from my own perspective. I am not a messenger. I am a message creator, just like the NYT.

Posted by: Jack at February 24, 2008 11:51 AM
Comment #246292


i don’t think many are going to take nader to seriously at this point. i would think a greater threat to the democrat hopefuls would be an independent run by bloomberg, but thats just mt opinion.

Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2008 1:15 PM
Comment #246305

Good try womanmarine,
I’m afraid the idea of sex has caught the blogs’ attention, regardless of what else is happening in the world.

Remember men supposedly think of sex every 5-10 seconds, depending on whom you read. I assume that’s why the NY Times article has been so heavily discussed. Its all about sex… Oh well…

Nader, on the other hand, as you implied, probably doesn’t have these kind of interesting (liaisons) scandals in his background. It does somehow, seem like an “old hat” idea when Nader kicks in again. Sort of a been there - done there thing.

I’ll have to admit, though, it does sound like a double standard between the Democrats and Republicans.

As far as the insurance situation, I think the woman and all the apparent other dismissed clients deserve to be applauded for fighting the insurance companies, and even the lawyers (who will get a third of the money - 101 Business as usual) should be commended. More power to them!!!

Posted by: Linda H. at February 24, 2008 2:57 PM
Comment #246312

I’m so sick of the sexual inuendo and hype. Who the hell cares who they sleep with if it is consenting adults? I sure don’t. Nor do I see marital cheating anywhere close to not being trustworthy as President.

As far as experience is concerned, I think it would be delightful to have a President with less baggage, rather than more “experience” of the way “things are done”.


Posted by: womanmarine at February 24, 2008 3:43 PM
Comment #246343

womamarine, while I would agree with you completely , I truly feel what we are seeing here is fear, and at a great level. Obama is scaring the hell out of the right-siders and is bringing out their wingnutsiness at its best. In a way, it’s kind of amusing and entertaining if we can only resist the temptation to jump on their paranoid ramblings.

Posted by: Jane Doe at February 24, 2008 10:31 PM
Comment #246347


I just believe that the journalist who wrote the article created the message. Hence he is not merely the messenger. IF he is the messenger, please tell me who originated the message?

The people they quoted and sourced the story from.

Besides, I have criticized the story and its basis. I have not said anything in particualar about the NYT except to point out that they did not do a good job at their research.

What is your basis for qualifying their research as bad? It seems more just a baseless opinion.

You read what I write. You obviously do not think criticizing my stuff is attacking the messenger. I do not expect you to be any different. I try as hard as the NYT to tell the truth but like those who write for the NYT I write from my own perspective. I am not a messenger. I am a message creator, just like the NYT.

Jack you said, “,… NYT chose to go with such a half-baked story….” Yet you failed to note what was half baked. You simply don’t like the message and then go about criticizing the NTT. You are not a journalist, reporting facts. You are an opinion blogger. I criticize your opinions, not you.

Posted by: googlumpugus at February 24, 2008 11:36 PM
Comment #246351


The journalists have the responsibilty to show their evidence. A couple of sources who refuse to be identified who imply - but never say - that there may have been something is not a strong case. I could say that I believe Hilary had an affair with Obama because some guy told me.

Re message and messenger - I really think you are underestimating the role of journalists. If they are just passing the message, they are nothing but hacks. What you are implying is that those two guys who refused to be named passed their message through the NYT and that jouralists at the NYT merely acted as a pipe.

I think the jouralist themselves would reject this model.

Re criticizing what I write - I do not have any problem with what you write re me. I agree that you are criticizing the message, not the messenger. How have I treated the NYT any differently? Of course, you have become familiar with some of my perspectives. It would not be unfair to question why I chose to emphasize some things and not others. The same goes for the NYT.

NYT is a player in the information game, not a mere mouthpiece or conduit. They need to be questioned as anybody else.

Posted by: Jack at February 25, 2008 12:25 AM
Comment #246387

Without newspapers to do serious investigating including painstaking research of records, who is going to do it?
Right, nobody. At which time politicians will have nothing to worry about.
So let’s help attack the media so we won’t have any more questioning of anything a politician says.

Posted by: Schwamp at February 25, 2008 1:22 PM
Comment #246417

Excuse me, but have you read the story? What exactly is half baked about the story? The NYTimes does not say that McCain had an affair, only that two of his former close aids have come forward and said that…

As a Democrat, I’m not exactly thrilled the NYTimes had a duty to run this story, but they did. The story is newsworthy. Not so much the suggestion of cheating, but that McCain pulls political favors for campaign contributions. His lack of judgement in regards to being able to tell when he is obviously being used does not make him look young…

Posted by: Max at February 25, 2008 5:37 PM
Comment #246421


Journalism is principly about repeating facts. It isn’t novel writing. It isn’t even comprehensive as a book may be. It is reporting of fact. There was a year in developing this story which involved checking facts and finding additional sources.

Newspapers rarely publish all the facts and frequently protect sources. If they did not, they would never learn anything except PR.

The NYT is one of the few newspapers which actually does investigative journalism on the national scale.

If you criticized the Times for it’s editorial stance, I have no problem. However you are disputing their facts, without any evidence to the contrary except McCain’s non-denial denial. He said he had no affair. The NYT never stated he had. This is typical political obfuscation.

I supported US Rep Murtha over the statements he made about Haditha. On the same program he made comments about earmarks as being a non-issue that I think was outrageous. He has one of the worst records on ear-marks. This lobbyist influence is business as usual for both McCain and Murtha. Both lack integrity on this issue.

Posted by: googlumpugus at February 25, 2008 6:04 PM
Comment #246444

Reckon the NY Times endorsed McCain because they think he’s the worst and most beatable of the Republicans running? And now that he seems to have the nomination in the bag it’s time for them to work to get the Democrat candidate elected.
Just sounds like politics to me.

So McCain had an affair. Big deal. But then he is a Republican. And everyone knows that the Democrats are only ones allowed to have affairs and not pay the consequences.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 25, 2008 11:53 PM
Comment #246462

Ron Brown-
McCain wasn’t the weakest of candidates, he was the GOP’s choice. But in a way, all the candidates were weak, because none has the serious and committed backing of the full party. The more secular or northern folks hate Huckabee. The more conservative, religious and southern folks hated Romney. McCain is hated by many of the religious folks and the archconservatives, but he has more crossover appeal.

Unfortunately, to exploit that he has to pull off a precarious balancing act, catering to the base and the public at the same time, and neither of them agree as much as they use to.

The Republican focus on the affair is a mistake. It’s a red herring, really, and the Liberals, if you read the more journalism oriented blogs, are hot on the trail of his much more provable relationships with lobbyists.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2008 8:30 AM
Comment #246470

I don’t see McCain carrying the South without Huckabee. He’s not very well liked down here and needs someone that can pull the southern vote.
Of all the Republican candidates Huckabee is the only one I see being able to do that. He’s done very well in the South while the rest seem to have fizzled.
Most folks I’ve talked to would like to see Huckabee get the nomination and would except McCain for Vice President. But they aint all that excited about the idea.
None are happy about McCain being the front runner and most likely the Republican Presidential candidate. But they seem to be grudgingly willing to except him if he chooses Huckabee for his running mate.
I don’t believe that a Republican can win without carrying the South.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 26, 2008 1:04 PM
Comment #246481


As much as the south doesn’t like McCain, it is not likely that they are going to jump ship to the Democrats in the general… I think that they will hold their noses or stay home… The interesting thing is what is going to happen when the black voters come out in droves if Obama is nominated? I’ve already seen a lot of interviews with black southerners that have never voted but are ready to do so now if Obama is their candidate.

Of course, I completely disagree with voting your race or gender automatically, but it happens and as long as we focus on it it will continue to do so. Our country is not yet willing to give up the political power that can come with tearing us apart on such non-existent notions as ‘race’…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 26, 2008 2:35 PM
Comment #246527

If McCain carries the South without Huckabee it’ll be by a very small margin.
I agree that voting race isn’t the way to go. But unfortunately a whole heap of folks do just that. Never mind the candidate is very well qualified, she’s the wrong color.
Never mind the candidate aint qualified to dress himself in the morning, he’s the right color.
This kind of voting has gotten some pretty bad candidates elected. And some very well qualified ones defeated.
Back in 82 there was a Black deputy run for County Sheriff. He was defeated because of his race. A couple of years later the Sheriff died and the Black deputy, who was the Chief Deputy, took over as acting sheriff until a special election could be held. He ran the office better than any of his recent predecessors, and most of his successors.
He ran of Sheriff in the special election, was defeated again, and resigned from the Sheriffs Department. The only reason he couldn’t win an election was the color of his skin. And I believe the county lost a very good Chief Deputy. And it suffered because the voters refused to elect a man very well qualified to be Sheriff just because of the color of his skin.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 27, 2008 12:15 AM
Comment #246601

Would you mind telling us what county that is?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 27, 2008 9:18 PM
Comment #246733

Please elaborate, that sounds like juicy information. Would like to compare that to the numerous other instances of racial profiling not covered by the MSM’s.

Posted by: dobropet at February 29, 2008 8:48 AM
Comment #246909

Then obviously W. is a good Pres., cause he’s the Right’s color.

Posted by: ray at March 2, 2008 10:37 AM
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