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NYT Runs Controversial McCain Story, Spat Ensues

Posted on Feb 20, 2008
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Up close, getting personal:  The New York Times endorsed him in January, but the paper’s relations with Team McCain have become decidedly less diplomatic with the publication of its latest story on the campaigning senator.

Did unwanted attention from a New Republic scribe prod The New York Times into printing its long-awaited story about certain alleged snags in Sen. John McCain’s moral fabric?  McCain’s camp apparently thinks so, but regardless, the Arizona senator’s team is switching into battle mode to counter the paper’s “smear campaign.”

The New York Times:

Mr. McCain’s confidence in his ability to distinguish personal friendships from compromising connections was at the center of questions advisers raised about Ms. Iseman.

The lobbyist, a partner at the firm Alcalde & Fay, represented telecommunications companies for whom Mr. McCain’s commerce committee was pivotal. Her clients contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his campaigns.

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.

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By Maani, February 24, 2008 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment


Thank you for pointing this out. I should have been clearer.  What I meant was that he chastised them for insinuating a sexual affair; i.e., creating the impression of something tawdry where no evidence existed for it.

But, yes, the remainder of the Times article, and some of the comments by Hoyt, do indeed provide more evidence re McCain.  As if we needed more evidence then we already have to make sure he doesn’t get elected…LOL.


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By PatrickHenry, February 24, 2008 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

I guess it demonstrates the growing American sense of outrage that the U.S. has been hijacked by a small minority devoted to a foreign country. 

BTW all middle easterners are semites (shepardic jews, palistinians, lebanese, syrians etc) It’s the introduction of the european jewry (Khazars) into that part of the world that has fucked it up.

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By PatrickHenry, February 24, 2008 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

They got Vannunu with one of those honeypot traps.

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By Fadel Abdallah, February 24, 2008 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Well Maani, I disagree with you that the Public Editor of the New York Times, Clark Hoyt’s article is about chastisement. In fact, this same article reveals more substantiated facts about the dubious character of McCain when it says,

“McCain, who was reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee in 1991 for exercising “poor judgment” by intervening with federal regulators on behalf of a corrupt savings and loan executive, recast himself as a crusader against special interests and the corrupting influence of money in politics. Yet he has continued to maintain complex relationships with lobbyists like Iseman, at whose request he wrote to the Federal Communications Commission to urge a speed-up on a decision affecting one of her clients.”

I didn’t know this piece of information reported in this article you consider chastisement. In fact, it provides more damning evidence against McCain.

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By Maani, February 24, 2008 at 9:06 am Link to this comment


Here is an excellent chastisement of the NYT - by its own public editor:


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By Fadel Abdallah, February 22, 2008 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

As a follow up to a previous post, I cannot comprehend how a 40-year beauty like Vicki Iseman could be romantically interested in ugly old McCain who is the age of her father. Again, this confirms my suspicion that she is a woman on a mission. I have a theory about whom she is working for, but bringing it openly is premature at this stage. However, I might give a hint about an ancient culture that glorifies the work of spies and considers them as princes or princesses serving the cause. There was a book published sometime ago entitled, “Every Spy is a Prince.” Can you figure now the connection I am hinting at?!

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By rowdy, February 22, 2008 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

whether he fucked the bitch or not is immaterial. what is important, the slimy motherfucker is literally in bed with the lobbyist’s he has vowed to oppose. small wonder he favors telecom immunity. how nice of the NYT to remind us all of the keating bank collapse and the 3 billion dollars of tax money fucked away.

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By voice of truth, February 22, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Only to be matched by the Dems.  Remember, the so-called Keating Five was 80% Dem, including the Mr. Clean Marine John Glenn.  Neither party has a stranglehold on corruption, they are full of politicians, after all.

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By Louise, February 22, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment


“BTW - I have an observation/question….....lib in Texas?  Wouldn’t that, in itself, be an oxymoron??”


Oh thanks ... I was looking for a good laugh! smile

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By voice of truth, February 22, 2008 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

I knew it wouldn’t be long until the anti-semites made it into this thread as well.  How fucking predictable on this website.

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By Fadel Abdallah, February 21, 2008 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

As a person who supported the war on Iraq and who continues to highlight his past credentials as a military person in another wrong and misguided American war, I find McCain to be the very wrong man for the wrong office. Moreover, I don’t like his yellow fake smile and it would be another four long boring years to see his face constantly in the news if he is elected president. Since individual presidents do not make big difference in bringing about significant positive change any way, America then, at least, deserves a president with a warm lively smile and charismatic demeanor.

Therefore, now that Ms. Iseman name is in the news, I am more interested in her story than actually in McCain candidacy. Her name sounds Zionist to me, and she might be a lady on a mission, as was Monica Lewinsky before her. In light of this, I would welcome any more details about this new player! Her story and that of Monica Lewinsky before her might be a great stuff for a good book.

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By lib in texas, February 21, 2008 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

Someone has to keep you on your toes and post honestly.  See you are a hypocrite again saying I slam and smear Obama and in fact you and others do a really good job of promoting lies about Hillary. 

Just because someone doesn’t agree with you they are a nut case ?  Again you live in some dream world where you are the rule maker and that what you have to say is important whether true or not. You have to quote Leefeller to make you seem like you are right or you have a cohort.Take your warnings somewhere where anyone cares.
Your denegration of people who only have highschool educations and people over 65 who can’t use the internet for their information shows you are a huge snob and way under informed.  And now with you showing your true colors I figure you aren’t worth the time or effort of responding to your posts anyway.  You will continue to be this ego inflated person and a true bigot. So I will take your advise and carry my ass somewhere with much more inteligent posts. 

I also read your post belittling people with only a high school education and older people not savy enough to get their news off the internet.  That

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By Inherit The Wind, February 21, 2008 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Cindy McCain???? This is the woman who brought home a baby from Bengla Desh who had all kinds of “special needs” and said to her husband “Guess what? We’re adopting her!”  and they did.

And, of course, in SC in 2000, his fellow Re-thuglicans used it against him and push-polled the primary saying “Would you vote for McCain knowing he fathered an out-of-wedlock colored child?”

Notice that the far Right is not rushing to defend McCain because they hate him and think they can forgo the presidency for 4 years and come back strong with a Huckabee fascist as the next George Bush.  I also think they are sending him a message that he better pick a Huck-a-cluck clone as his VP or they’ll abandon him in a second.

The New York Snoot is getting more and more like the NY Post under Sulzberger.

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By cyrena, February 21, 2008 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Marshall writes:

•  “Not manipulated intelligence, FAULTY intelligence… the difference seems lost on the anti-war left. “

So, the fact that the ‘documents’ allegedly verifying Saddam’s purchase order of yellow cake from Africa were FORGED, would be ‘faulty’ or ‘manipulated’?

What can we say about the INTELLIGENCE that came from the UN weapons inspectors that were on the ground in Iraq from November 2002, until GWB told them to get out? THAT intelligence claimed that Saddam DID NOT have any WMD weapons program. Was that ‘faulty’ intelligence? Apparently not, since it was later confirmed by the inability to FIND any after the invasion.

No, the ‘difference’ between a lie, and the truth is NOT lost on any thinking person, regardless of whether they are ‘anti-war’ or left. I’m not left, and I’m not ‘anti-war’ in terms of defense. That’s what our military is supposed to be for right? Isn’t that why they call it ‘The Department of Defense” and not the “Department of OFFENSE”?

The difference between the truth and a lie has nothing to do with political ideology. OR…it shouldn’t.

Lies and forged documents spell MANIPULATED intelligence to me, but you can call it ‘faulty’ if it makes you feel better Marshall.

Doesn’t change the results though, does it?

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By jbart, February 21, 2008 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You are right on, as usual. This particular blogger obviously doesn’t live in the same reality that the rest of us are and, by necessity, forced to acknowledge (and find a way to attempt to deal with)it. Please don’t waste your time or energy defending what doesn’t need defending. Recognize what this guy is all about, ignore the “personal” assaults, and keep on keeping on with your “read”. I,for one, enjoy it immensely. He, or she, might be one of those ?? You know…them. Phonies portraying themselves as real people but are really, on someones’s payroll, to cause confusion on the Net?  Who’s paranoid??  Not me.  They aren’t everywhere.  Just mostly there.
BTW - I have an observation/question….....lib in Texas?  Wouldn’t that, in itself, be an oxymoron??

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By cyrena, February 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment


I’ve already warned you a couple of times about these personal attacks. What’s up with you anyway? My comment on this post does nothing to warrant this. I don’t mention Obama, (and neither does the article). Why do YOU?

It’s a well known fact that McCain, a former POW (at least that’s the record he runs on) has always been vocally AGAINST torture, until recently, when he backed off of his position to go along with Dick Bush in their legalization of torture, FOR THE CIA.

For the record. The prohibition against torture, IN ANY FORM, is a universal prohibition. It CANNOT be altered to allow it in any circumstances, in any form. So McCain has backed away from that very clear prohibition.

As for me thinking that I was some sort of an award winning journalist, that is YOUR opinion. (thanks) I don’t see it that way. If I did, I’d find a way to earn some money doing that. Instead, I post to this blog and limited others, just like anyone else who has access to the Internet can do.

I’m telling you again lib…GET OFF MY CASE. If all you can do on these blogs is slam and smear Obama and anyone who supports his candidacy from a raw emotional view point, which has nothing to do with what matters in the sane or rational mind of the populace, then you just need to take your hate-mongering ass somewhere and let the ground settle in around you too.

Quite honestly, you sound like a total nutcase here. Leefeller says you’re ‘not healthy’ which is very diplomatic. I’m gonna say again, that you’re a ranting raving bigot, with a serious case of some mental illness or personality disorder. So take your marbles, and go play on a freeway somewhere.

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By Marshall, February 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Not sure how it “gave Bush a pass on the Iraq war”, since it was a war that had bipartisan support and was based on what later turned out to be faulty intelligence.  Not manipulated intelligence, FAULTY intelligence… the difference seems lost on the anti-war left.  There was, in fact, far more intelligence indicating Iraq was a direct threat than there is now with Iran.  Potential for nukes within 1-8 years, active bio and chem. weapons programs, past use of chem. weapons - enough to cause Clinton to bomb Baghdad in ‘98.

Should NY Times have dug into the NIE more deeply?  Perhaps, though that’s hard to do when only portions are unclassified.

As to this story; unless there’s more to it than has been disclosed, I believe it will only harm the Times’ reputation given its basis in inuendo.

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By BobZ, February 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

The N.Y. Times went after Bill Clinton with a vengeance and gave Bush a pass on the Iraq war, and had Judith Miller write puff pieces about Iraq. As Joe Scarborough mentioned this morning on his show - his two favorite whipping boys when he was in Congress were the N.Y. Times and Ted Kennedy, and how his fellow conservatives had the same hit list. The N.Y. Times has the best journalists in the business but they are not infallible, and they knew this story was coming out anyway. And if you read the article McCain was not accused of anything by the Times; it was McCain’s own advisers who talked “out of school”. Newspapers today are not as prone to roll over as they were back in JFK’s day, when they knew what was going on but would not publish it.

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By PatrickHenry, February 21, 2008 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Another case of skeletons in a career politicians closet. 

“Like diapers, they need to be changed often and for the same reason”.

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By LibertyWatch, February 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

The list of corrupt, immoral cronies of the GOP just gets longer everyday!

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By skmacksk, February 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the Great Imperial Capitol the “Daily World” is the newspaper of record.Its motto is “All the news that political expediency renders fit to print”.
It is under attack! The Shop Worn Hero, and Presidential candidate has found his probity and honesty under question in its pages .A story that was withheld from publication, for months. The “Daily World” knew of these serious questions of a legal/ethical nature; yet endorsed him as the candidate of preference on its editorial pages.
Public Intellectual, in a scathing critique, calls the furor a tempest in a teapot! He, rather, focuses his attention on the obligation of newspapers to publish the news as it becomes available. Not letting important stories be subject to negotiation with individuals, politicians or governments. He argues for the political/ethical responsibility of the Fourth Estate as enunciated in our Founding Documents. He concludes by lamenting the enforced political atrophy of the idea of the “pro bono publico” an idea under attack from the “New Conservative” movement

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By omop, February 21, 2008 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

By removing or having some one else remove Ms.Iseman “bio” from the www. an admission of guilt becomes highlighted.

Given the state of “high profile” politicos in the US. [Sen. Craig indulging in public restrooms; Bill explaining Monica’s under the desk massaging as   technically ‘nonsexual intercourse’; Bill again quoted in girl friend Gennifer’s book that “Hillary has slept with more women than he had”; the gossip about Hillary and her constant travelling companion; and now spook McCain’s involved in nooky, nooky with Ms. Iseman are pauses for reflection.

Add to the above news reports from Israel that a senior member of their parliament has gone on record as blaming homosexuals for the recent earthquakes that jolted Israelis. Such pronounced events either point to the Rapture event or a need to convert and follow the dicta of people that make up the majority of the population in Utah.

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By Louise, February 21, 2008 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

The only thing this story proves is how easy it is for the majority of voters to overlook a double standard. No, I need to correct that. How easy it is for some politicians to overlook a double standard. Uh ... no, how easy it is for some politicians to forget what their standard is.

Better still. How easily some politicians change and revise their standards depending on the issue of the moment. That describes McCain, I think. And also explains why so many republicans say he isn’t conservative enough. Not that they have such high standards, but because they have such low expectations.

One can easily define what bothers republican voters with three words.

Sex. Retirement. Fear. [you can break that down any way you want]

All that stuff about deregulation, torture, lobbying, favoritism, campaign money and whether or not McCain is human enough to be attracted to a female associate is totally lost on them. And basically unimportant. The important things are how McCain feels about sex, [abortion, gay rights, single mothers, etc.] retirement [Social Security, investments, pensions, etc.] and fear. The one thing they know for sure is how he plays the fear card.

The one hundred year war.
At least this week.

And I think he thinks that’s what the voters, republican anyway, want to hear.

All this other stuff is aimed at discouraging the Independent and Democrat votes he thinks he’ll get. wink

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By voice of truth, February 21, 2008 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

If we are going to accept this story as “news”, then shouldn’t the NYT also do a page 1 story on Hillary’s lesbian relationship with her aide, Huma Abedin?  Both stories are just swirling rumours with no evidence or facts.  So why does the NYT put one on the front page and ignore the other???

And you folks here wonder why many believe there is a huge left-wing slant to the mainstream media.

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By Michael in Oakland, CA, February 21, 2008 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1. I seriously doubt that the NYT’s article is an attempt to smear McCain.  Despite the NYT’s occasional mistakes, the paper has a reputation for honesty and candor.

2. If McCain did have an affair, I wouldn’t condemn him for it.  Or maybe he had feelings for the woman but didn’t act on them.  The guy is human, just like the rest of us.

I happen to be a Democrat, but that’s not pertinent.

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By voice of truth, February 21, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

This story is so filled with innuendo and anonymous sources that it is unbelievable that a newspaper that purports itself to be of the status that the NYT claims for itself would even stay with it, never mind run it on Page 1.  If the “news” now is simply going to be rumours, then we might as well turn our nation over to the Entertainment Tonight and TMZ crowd now.

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By DennisD, February 21, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry - not interested in the Entertainment Tonight news about McCain or any other politician.

Lets stick to the issues relevant to every person in this country instead of the usual sideshows the media loves to dredge up to avoid them.

There are plenty of reasons not to vote for him. This isn’t one of them.

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By dick, February 21, 2008 at 8:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

McClain is one of the truly great hypocrites in Washington, and a womanizer in the mold of GH Bush and Clinton.

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By dammit, February 21, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

McCain is against torture by the military but he’s all for letting the CIA make up its own rules.

Half right’s good enough though, eh?

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By lib in texas, February 21, 2008 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

cyerna and all of OBAMA cult will overlook the limo ride. Silence is golden esp when its about their messiah. Cyrena lives in a dream world and thinks shes some kind of award winning journalist.
cyrena for your info “you always have to throw lies in there” Mccain is NOT for torture and I don’t give a flip about him but no reason for the lies.

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By Stuart Bernstein, February 21, 2008 at 4:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In his defense, which began in December when Drudge ran this story, McCain keeps saying he has never violated the public trust.  He also seems to constantly say that he will never let us down.  But isn’t his whole career as a maverick an apology for his violating the public trust and letting us down in the Savings and Loan scandal as a member of the ethically challenged Keating Five?

And watching him modify his positions daily in order to pull his party together and pander to the conservative base, I wonder where he gets off calling this a smear campaign.  The guy has built his career on trying to convince people he’s the bigger man because he admits his mistakes and apologizes, then becomes a zealot for some position (campaign finance reform, for instance) that will immunize him from further criticism. 

So how can someone who has lamented his unfortunate involvement in the Savings and Loan scandal, essentially “letting us down,” make such empty promises?  I don’t think this kind of b.s. is going to fly this time around.

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By Sally A. Bridges, February 21, 2008 at 3:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve always noticed how retiring and stony-faced his wife looks, seeming to always hide in the background.  I said to myself,“Now, there is an abused woman.”  I have never trusted him.  The media and his opponents are always careful to acknowledge that they have great respect for him because he is a war hero.  That may be true, but even if he is in good health despite his age (and he must be if he is still having affairs with the ladies), he admits that he has no good knowledge of economics.  This is the leading concern of the voters this time around and his lack or interest in learning about it, or concern for how it is important, shows that he has no real business being president.  But I guess this pales in importance to keeping our young men and women in Iraq for the next 100 years, fighting and dying for an absolutely wicked and illegal war.  This man is scary.  Personally, I don’t care about his personal passions, but in this case it’s all tied up with special interests and poor judgment, which cannot be lacking in a president.  We’ve had enough poor judgment in this current administration to last for eons.

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By waxman, February 21, 2008 at 3:22 am Link to this comment

Knew you would like this Cyrena, hows your little boy doing ??  Does he have big ears ??  Also, what about Barry’s boy toy with the limo in ‘99 ??

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By cyrena, February 21, 2008 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

•  “He is essentially an honorable person,” said William P. Cheshire, a friend of Mr. McCain who as editorial page editor of The Arizona Republic defended him during the Keating Five scandal. “But he can be imprudent.”

Ah! Imprudent. Well that’s a relief. As long as it’s just a little ‘imprudence’, no problem. As long as Ms. Iseman isn’t Ms. Lewinsky, all grown up…what’s everybody getting all hot and bothered about?

But wait…Monica wasn’t a lobbyist. (well if she was, SHE was her only ‘client’) At least nobody else was pimping her.

•  “A drive to expunge the stain on his reputation in time turned into a zeal to cleanse Washington as well. The episode taught him that “questions of honor are raised as much by appearances as by reality in politics,” he wrote, “and because they incite public distrust they need to be addressed no less directly than we would address evidence of expressly illegal corruption.”

So little Johnnie doesn’t even “get”, that for those who never even knew about his shameful disgrace of the Keating scandal, we DO know that he’s decided that torture is OK, and this everlasting war is just fine with him too. So the public distrust on that is enough to have already wiped him out.

Meantime, all of this “Days of Our Lives” or “All My Children” drama is just the dirt on top of the casket already in the ground for the imprudent old fart with a case of the Alzheimer’s.

He should just go sit his ass down somewhere, and wait for the ground to settle in around him. (Just so it’s not Washington DC.)

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