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FOX frames NYTimes common editorial policy as liberal media bias against McCain

Reported by Chrish - July 22, 2008 -

FOXNews.com has dutifully posted a home-grown article complaining on John McCain's behalf that "The New York Times on Friday blocked an opinion piece submitted by John McCain to the newspaper shortly after it printed a piece by his Democratic rival, Barack Obama." Call a waaahmbulance!

The New York Times has responded:

“I’d be very eager to publish the senator on the op-ed page. However, I’m not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written. I’d be pleased, though, to look at another draft. Let me suggest an approach,” Times op-ed editor David Shipley wrote the campaign via an e-mail later distributed by McCain’s team.

“It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory — with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the Senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan”

"McCain campaign Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker said the two candidates “have very different world views” about Iraq and the campaign wanted an opportunity to state its candidate’s view"

yet he squandered the opportunity and instead talked about Obama's view.

FOXNews.com also posted the op-ed piece as submitted, ("The McCain Op-Ed The New York Times Wouldn’t Publish"), which reads like a lengthy attack ad on Senator Obama and offers little of McCain's own vision.

FOX is presenting this as a refusal of the NYTimes to publish John McCain, in an attempt to shore up their accusation that the media is biased against him. This has been thoroughly debunked by Eric Alterman and George Zornick in The Nation. Their publishing the attack piece only goes to highlight their bias and makes McCain a sympathetic figure to their readers - as you can see in the comments there..

The Obama piece is very much in the first person, with only three references to Senator McCain and then only to briefly draw attention to contrasting stands. McCain's "response," on the other hand, is all about Obama, with ten references by name and numerous third person references, dissecting Obama's piece with no chance for rebuttal or debate - kind of like an O'Reilly segment.

As the astute editor at the NYT noted, there is nothing new in McCain's article and no talk of the future beyond vagaries, just criticism of Obama and rehashing of where we've been. They are more than willing to publish another op-ed by McCain:

"It is standard procedure on our Op-Ed page, and that of other newspapers, to go back and forth with an author on his or her submission. We look forward to publishing Senator McCain’s views in our paper just as we have in the past. We have published at least seven op-ed pieces by Senator McCain since 1996. The New York Times endorsed Senator McCain as the Republican candidate in the presidential primaries. We take his views very seriously,” said Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis.