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September 24, 2008

Taking Advantage of the Overnight Thread - John McCain and the New York Times (chad)

John McCain and the New York Times are having a spat.

The New York Times has gone on record essentially claiming that McCain combines the worst social and economic policy features of Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin combined with the personality of Caligula, while also claiming that Sarah Palin has the moral compass of a crack whore and is so lacking in intellect that she needs to be reminded to breathe. Obviously I am paraphrasing a bit.

McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis finally called the Times out by referring to them as a Obama advocacy group and said they should drop the pretense of journalism. So they did with this story yesterday:

WASHINGTON ó One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCainís campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. God I love anonymous sources

The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

...

They said they did not recall Mr. Davisís doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than speak to a political action committee of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the approaching midterm Congressional elections. They said Mr. Davisís firm, Davis & Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of Mr. Davisís close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who by 2006 was widely expected to run again for the White House.

Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis & Manafortfor the presidential campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income. No one at Davis & Manafort other than Mr. Davis was involved in efforts on Freddie Macís behalf, the people familiar with the arrangement said.

The McCain campaign responded this morning by essentially calling the NY Times a bunch of stinking liars:

Today the New York Times launched its latest attack on this campaign in its capacity as an Obama advocacy organization. Let us be clear about what this story alleges: The New York Times charges that McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month, contrary to previous reporting, as well as statements by this campaign and by Mr. Davis himself.

In fact, the allegation is demonstrably false. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis separated from his consulting firm, Davis Manafort, in 2006. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis has seen no income from Davis Manafort since 2006. Zero. Mr. Davis has received no salary or compensation since 2006. Mr. Davis has received no profit or partner distributions from that firm on any basis -- weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual -- since 2006. Again, zero. Neither has Mr. Davis received any equity in the firm based on profits derived since his financial separation from Davis Manafort in 2006.

Further, and missing from the Times' reporting, Mr. Davis has never -- never -- been a lobbyist for either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Mr. Davis has not served as a registered lobbyist since 2005.

Though these facts are a matter of public record, the New York Times, in what can only be explained as a willful disregard of the truth, failed to research this story or present any semblance of a fairminded treatment of the facts closely at hand. The paper did manage to report one interesting but irrelevant fact: Mr. Davis did participate in a roundtable discussion on the political scene with...Paul Begala.

While it's good to see a Republican standing up for himself in the press I don't think McCain can really win this fight. The Times can print anything it wants and since it is still considered a highly reputable journalistic organization it will get greeted with the presumption of credibility by most people. Any retractions, if they are forthcoming, will be issued sometime after McCain's death. But the higher probability is that the Public Editor in his role of discerner of truth for the masses will look at the reporting and declare that while it was false it served the purpose of bringing out important questions.

At that point we will all be struggling under the yoke of Obama's mandatory universal volunteer service and living off tree bark and saw dust soup so we won't really care.


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posted by xgenghisx at 09:47 AM

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