Even the left questions the accuracy and reasons for the Times story

How much trouble is the New York Times in for their story yesterday alleging an affair between GOP near-nominee John McCain and a female lobbyist and subsequent unethical actions taken on her client's behalf?

Quite a bit. It seems that many on the left are echoing the right in the same kind of criticisms levelled at editor Bill Keller and the 4 reporters who worked on the story.

This astonishing op-ed appeared in the ultra-liberal Seattle Post-Intelligencer and points up the reasons the story never should have seen the
light of day:

I chose not to run the New York Times story on John McCain in Thursday's P-I, even though it was available to us on the New York Times News Service. I thought I'd take a shot at explaining why.

To me, the story had serious flaws. It did not convincingly make the case that McCain either had an affair with a lobbyist, or was improperly influenced by her. It used a raft of unnamed sources to assert that members of McCain's campaign staff -- not this campaign but his campaign eight years ago -- were concerned about the amount of time McCain was spending with the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman. They were worried about the appearance of a close bond between the two of them.

Then it went even further back, re-establishing the difficulties McCain had with his close association to savings-and-loan criminal Charles Keating. It didn't get back to the thing that (of course) the rest of the media immediately pounced on -- McCain, Iseman and the nature of their relationship -- until very deep in the story. And when the story did get back there, it didn't do so with anything approaching convincing material.

A very good editor I happen to work for, P-I Editor and Publisher Roger Oglesby, said today that the story read like a candidate profile to him, not an investigative story, and I think that's true. A candidate profile based on a lot of old anecdotes.
I took some heat yesterday from liberals who tried to convince me that the sex part of the story was only a minor aspect to it and the real meat was found in the "unethical" practices of McCain in intervening on behalf of lobbyist Iseman's clients.

This is nuts. Is there any newspaper on the planet that would have assigned 4 - count 'em, 4 - top investigative reporters to cover a story on the questionable ethical decisions of a nominee? Would such a story even be front page news? The answer to both questions is no. And that brings us back to the sexual infidelity part of the story and the fact that the Times never proved anything romantic was going on between McCain and Iseman.

This story has been about sex from the beginning. It is what motivated the Times to pursue the story. It is why Bill Keller assigned 4 reporters to cover it. And it is wny despite the fact that nothing in the story had changed since last December, Bill Keller held on to it for two months. He did it for the same reason the editor at the Seattle PI didn't want to publish it; the premise was so thin as to be nonexistent.

If the New York Times had a conscience and a soul, Bill Keller would be fired for this smear job. Instead, he is liable to get a raise. Such is the culture of corruption at the Times.
How much trouble is the New York Times in for their story yesterday alleging an affair between GOP near-nominee John McCain and a female lobbyist and subsequent unethical actions taken on her client's behalf?

Quite a bit. It seems that many on the left are echoing the right in the same kind of criticisms levelled at editor Bill Keller and the 4 reporters who worked on the story.

This astonishing op-ed appeared in the ultra-liberal Seattle Post-Intelligencer and points up the reasons the story never should have seen the
light of day:

I chose not to run the New York Times story on John McCain in Thursday's P-I, even though it was available to us on the New York Times News Service. I thought I'd take a shot at explaining why.

To me, the story had serious flaws. It did not convincingly make the case that McCain either had an affair with a lobbyist, or was improperly influenced by her. It used a raft of unnamed sources to assert that members of McCain's campaign staff -- not this campaign but his campaign eight years ago -- were concerned about the amount of time McCain was spending with the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman. They were worried about the appearance of a close bond between the two of them.

Then it went even further back, re-establishing the difficulties McCain had with his close association to savings-and-loan criminal Charles Keating. It didn't get back to the thing that (of course) the rest of the media immediately pounced on -- McCain, Iseman and the nature of their relationship -- until very deep in the story. And when the story did get back there, it didn't do so with anything approaching convincing material.

A very good editor I happen to work for, P-I Editor and Publisher Roger Oglesby, said today that the story read like a candidate profile to him, not an investigative story, and I think that's true. A candidate profile based on a lot of old anecdotes.
I took some heat yesterday from liberals who tried to convince me that the sex part of the story was only a minor aspect to it and the real meat was found in the "unethical" practices of McCain in intervening on behalf of lobbyist Iseman's clients.

This is nuts. Is there any newspaper on the planet that would have assigned 4 - count 'em, 4 - top investigative reporters to cover a story on the questionable ethical decisions of a nominee? Would such a story even be front page news? The answer to both questions is no. And that brings us back to the sexual infidelity part of the story and the fact that the Times never proved anything romantic was going on between McCain and Iseman.

This story has been about sex from the beginning. It is what motivated the Times to pursue the story. It is why Bill Keller assigned 4 reporters to cover it. And it is wny despite the fact that nothing in the story had changed since last December, Bill Keller held on to it for two months. He did it for the same reason the editor at the Seattle PI didn't want to publish it; the premise was so thin as to be nonexistent.

If the New York Times had a conscience and a soul, Bill Keller would be fired for this smear job. Instead, he is liable to get a raise. Such is the culture of corruption at the Times.