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December 21, 2007
McCain Tries to Squelch Negative Times Story
The New York Times is preparing a massive hit piece on John McCain according to Drudge and the Senator from Arizona is not taking it lying down.
McCain is denying an accusation that he did favors for a female lobbyist who assisted in writing Telecom legislation. Both parties deny the allegations and McCain has taken the extraordinary step of personally intervening and talking with the Times editors to get them to spike the story:
The Arizona Republican has hired a prominent Washington criminal attorney, Robert Bennett, to deal with the matter. Is it an accident that McCain is running the best of all Republicans against the two Democratic frontrunners Clinton and Obama and this little Christmas present from the Times would not doubt derail McCain's comeback?
"What is being done to John McCain is an outrage," Bennett said in an interview. Bennett said he sent prepared answers yesterday to written questions submitted by New York Times reporters who have spent weeks investigating questions about whether the senator did favors for a Washington lobbyist or her clients.
She has also retained a lawyer, according to a knowledgeable source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing legal matters.
McCain called Times Executive Editor Bill Keller this month to deny the allegations and to complain that he was not being treated fairly by the Times reporters, who had not yet interviewed him, the source said.
The Times inquiry burst into public view when the Drudge Report Web site posted an item about the newspaper's probe. Keller did not respond to a request to comment. Speaking to reporters in Detroit, McCain confirmed the Times inquiry, adding: "I do find the timing of this whole issue very interesting. And we're not going to stand for what happened to us in 2000. We're getting close to the primary," he said, referring to the Jan. 8 contest in New Hampshire.
Absolutely shameless partisanship. The fact that someone at the Times may have leaked this to Drudge almost certainly means that they don't really have any hard evidence to publish the piece just a circumstantial case that can be made against McCain.
This kind of gutter journalism shows how low the Times is willing to go and how far they have fallen as a news outfit.