National Journal: McCain Affair Story Journalistic Malpractice

You remember the New York Times “just wondering if McCain had an affair” story from February, right? It got picked up by all the other news sources immediately after. Let’s refresh

In one of the most sensational stories of the presidential campaign, The New York Timespublished a 3,000-word, front-page article in February suggesting that a little-known telecommunications lobbyist named Vicki Iseman had an affair with Sen. John McCain during his first run for the White House in 1999. The story did not provide any evidence of an affair, but said that McCain’s top aides became convinced that the relationship was romantic and took steps to keep McCain and Iseman apart.

The story generated massive publicity, and media and political critics accused The Times of publishing a salacious and unfair story. The Times‘ own public editor joined the chorus of criticism saying, “Although [the newspaper] raised one of the most toxic subjects in politics — sex — it offered readers no proof that McCain and Iseman had a romance.”

McCain, now 72, hotly denied a romantic tie to Iseman and accused The Times of “a hit-and-run smear campaign.”

Iseman had refused to be interviewed by the Time, but did have email exchanges, and had flatly denied the allegations. She says she answered every question the Times put to her. And she has sat down with National Journal Magazine to answer their questions

“I did not have a sexual relationship with Senator McCain,” she said in a three-hour interview last month in a seventh-floor conference room in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. “I never had an affair or an inappropriate relationship with Senator McCain, and that means I never acted unethically in my dealings with the senator.” Iseman, a partner in the lobbying firm of Alcalde & Fay, where she has worked for 18 years, adds, “I have never even been alone with Senator McCain.”

Iseman says she answered every question put to her by The Times, but that the newspaper “chose to disregard” many of her answers.The New York Times set out to write a story about a ‘romantic relationship’ in exchange for legislative favors…. Make the lobbyist a prostitute — pretty heady stuff. The only problem was, they were wrong on all counts.”

But, it’s OK that the Times investigated the possibility of an affair between a man who was probably going to be, at the time, the GOP presidential nominee, because, hey, they are working hard to investigate rumors of an affair between Barack Obama and Vera Baker. And y’all remember how hard the media worked to investigate the rumors of an affair by presidential contender John Edwards which supposedly led to a baby, right? And they are working hard to investigate Tim Mahoney (D-Fla) and his affair(s).

Anyhow, rather then provide lots of excerpts, read the whole story. Kinda long, but, well worth it.

Trackposted to , Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Allie is Wired, Faultline USA, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, The Pink Flamingo, Cao’s Blog, and Conservative Cat, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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2 Responses to “National Journal: McCain Affair Story Journalistic Malpractice”

  1. Rosemary says:

    Would you actually be shocked if I told you no, I do not remember them taking any action other than to smear Republicans? Didn’t think so. Grrrrr.

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