NY Times ombudsman Clark Hoyt has blasted his paper’s recent McCain/lobbyist hottie article, calling it “wrong to report the suppositions or concerns of anonymous aides about whether the boss is getting into the wrong bed.”
A newspaper cannot begin a story about the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee with the suggestion of an extramarital affair with an attractive lobbyist 31 years his junior and expect readers to focus on anything other than what most of them did. And if a newspaper is going to suggest an improper sexual affair, whether editors think that is the central point or not, it owes readers more proof than The Times was able to provide.
The stakes are just too big. As the flamboyant Edwin Edwards of Louisiana once said, “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.”
As Hoyt notes, there is some meat to the story. McCain does get very cozy with special interest lobbyists. But ironically, the Times’ story only served to help McCain raise more campaign funds as he played the “victim of the leftist media” card. This time, he’s actually right.