Sunday, February 24, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby (Slight Return)

Well, I'm convinced:

``John McCain does no favors for, nor gives no special treatment to, any lobbyists -- even if they are a friend of his,'' Charlie Black, a longtime Republican strategist, said on CBS's ``Face the Nation'' program. ``He listens to both sides of issues from representatives from both sides, makes a decision on the merits and goes ahead.''

The New York Times raised questions about McCain's relationship with Washington telecommunications lobbyist Vicki Iseman in a front-page story Feb. 21, suggesting that the senator's ties with the lobbyist were behind his decision to write a letter to the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of a company she represented.

``Senator McCain does not act in his own self-interest or in his own political interests in making decisions, but rather in the interest of the country even if there's a cost to him politically,'' Black, now chairman of BKSH & Associates, a Washington lobbying firm, said.

So let's see if we have this straight -- a longtime lobbyist, who is running the presidential campaign of a senator whose claim to fame is exonerating himself of being part of the Keating Five by inveighing against lobbyists, is as sure as sure can be that said senator's junkets on a corporate jet and letters on behalf of the same corporation are just coincidence.

Where the Times really fucked up on this story is by allowing the more salacious allegations creep into the storyline. If you have no corroboration, only anonymous insinuations, that McCain and Iseman had something going on, then don't bother bringing it up.

They allowed Straight Talk to at least feint toward the high ground on the sex aspect, and avoid mentioning the real part of the story, the money. This is the kind of incompetent shit you expect out of the local fishwrap, and instead of pressing the reporters to come up with some corroboration, the editorial staff just instinctively reaches for the kneepads.


SGinIowa said...

Hey! I work for a local fishwrap, and I (nor anyone I work with) would f**k up a story that badly. (Not that we're allowed to cover politics above the city council level. That's what we have AP for, we're told). It's almost as if the people who own the media would rather have their readers get their political "news" from incompetent assclowns.

Heywood J. said...

Yeah, at the local level, I imagine that covering national or international politics away from the newswire would, from the standpoint of management, require some amount of editorializing. But I think you're on to something in general -- it's not a coincidence that the mainstream corporate media prefers to streamline the model, and the subsidiaries directly feed off that model.