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O'Reilly outraged at choice tidbits picked from New York Times article

Reported by Chrish - February 22, 2008 -

Of course Bill O'Reilly devoted his Talking Points Memo last night 2/21/08 to the flap over the New York Times article on John McCain that (finally) came out yesterday. He insists that they "implied" and "insinuated" that McCain had had an affair or illicit relationship with a lobbyist and only reported the information, derived from anonymous sources, to smear the Senator.

But McCain's campaign, had O'Reilly bothered to read the article in question, said

...there is nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career.

So where's the beef?

Also ignored by O'Reilly and the other hysterics in the ADD media is the fact that this article is just the latest in a series, The Long Run, which has featured profiles on Obama, Clinton, Romney, Huckabee, Biden, and yes, even John McCain, over the past 7 months. Also ignored - purposely? - is the chewy center of the article that reminds readers of McCain's involvement in the Keating Five scanda. The article, titled "For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk," "examined a number of decisions by Senator John McCain that raised questions about his judgment over potential conflicts of interest."

In an effort to undermine the article further O'Reilly scoffed at the notion of anonymous sources and said the article was "brutally unfair" because the article says they don't even like McCain -dumbing it down for the folks. The "key" paragraph, he says, is

Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman. The two associates, who said they had become disillusioned with the senator, spoke independently of each other and provided details that were corroborated by others.

O'Reilly was stridently put out that the New York Times did not provide details of the inappropriate behavior, calling it sloppy journalism. (Details! Did he proposition her with legume patties, or what? Inquiring minds want to know!!)

Well, read on, Mr. O'Reilly. The next three paragraphs explain

"Separately, a top McCain aide met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station in Washington to ask her to stay away from the senator. John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said in an e-mail message that he arranged the meeting after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about her.

“Our political messaging during that time period centered around taking on the special interests and placing the nation’s interests before either personal or special interest,” Mr. Weaver continued. “Ms. Iseman’s involvement in the campaign, it was felt by us, could undermine that effort.”

Mr. Weaver added that the brief conversation was only about “her conduct and what she allegedly had told people, which made its way back to us.” He declined to elaborate."

Weaver declined to talk to the NYT yesterday, but according to a follow-up article today in the Times

"told The Washington Post’s Web site, however, that he had not informed Mr. McCain about the meeting in advance.

He also expanded on his initial description to The Times of the discussion with Ms. Iseman. He had said, without elaborating, that he had warned Ms. Iseman away because of “what she had told people” that had “made its way back” to the McCain campaign.

In a statement to the Web site of The Atlantic Monthly, Mr. Weaver said the comments that concerned him were about “strong ties to John’s committee staff, personal staff and to him.”

John McCain has been shown repeatedly on FOX News voicing his disappointment in the Times and is quoted as saying “Since it was in The New York Times, I don’t take it at face value.” Ah yes, pandering to the right. O'Reilly wins that wager with Laura Ingrham, who predicted he would swing towards the center for the general election. The incident as spun by the right prompted Rush Limbaugh to roar

"The important question for John McCain today is, Is he going to learn the right lesson from this, and what is the lesson?” Mr. Limbaugh said, according to a transcript posted on his Web site. “The lesson is liberals are to be defeated. You cannot walk across the aisle with them. You cannot reach across the aisle. You cannot welcome their media members on your bus and get all cozy with them and expect eternal love from them."

And the Times notes

"Later in the day, one of Mr. McCain’s senior advisers directed strong criticism at The Times in what appeared to be a deliberate campaign strategy to wage a war with the newspaper. Mr. McCain is deeply distrusted by conservatives on several issues, not least because of his rapport with the news media, but he could find common ground with them in attacking a newspaper that many conservatives revile as a left-wing publication."

Ah yes, partisan divisiveness - it's done so much good for the country the past 15 years; yeah, let's have some more of it.

Some in the blogosphere have questioned the Times article too - but are asking what took them so long? Had they released this article earlier it may have had an effect on the nomination, which leads some to speculate that they held it purposely to help their endorsed candidate progress in the race. But that point of view does not support the talking point that New York Times = liberal and untrustworthy; in fact, quite the opposite.

The NYTimes Executive Editor, Bill Keller, (who didn't "get back to " O'Reilly, lol) released this statement:

“On the substance, we think the story speaks for itself. On the timing, our policy is, we publish stories when they are ready. ‘Ready’ means the facts have been nailed down to our satisfaction, the subjects have all been given a full and fair chance to respond, and the reporting has been written up with all the proper context and caveats. This story was no exception. It was a long time in the works. It reached my desk late Tuesday afternoon. After a final edit and a routine check by our lawyers, we published it.”

Here's O'Reilly whining:

This is a twofer for O'Reilly - indignantly defend the Republican victim and skewer the hated New York Times for alleged bias.