Look, we loathe McCain as much as the next guy but today’s New York Times story is in bad form. Sure, he’s been overly cozy with lobbyists and his “let’s reform Capitol Hill” mantra is nothing but rhetoric. He was part of the Keating Five scandal, for Christ’s sake, which cost tax payers billions of dollars. More recently, he betrayed his own McCain-Feingold Act by setting up the nonprofit Reform Institute from which he funneled hundreds of thousands in soft money to his own campaigns. And who can forget his we could be in Iraq for a 100 years war mongering? McCain’s sleazebag credentials are solid.
But did the paper really need to make insinuations about his sex life? Especially since these insinuations come from anonymous sources who were merely “concerned that his relationship [with Iseman] had become romantic.” Sounds like the Times is grasping at straws, not to mention making us queasy by forcing us to think about John McCain having sex. Their anonymous sources all stop short of claiming an affair actually happened. If they’ve got hard evidence that McCain was sleeping with a lobbyist (whose clients benefited from the tryst) then let’s see it. Otherwise, making insinuations about a candidate’s personal life on such shaky evidence is truly below the belt. Didn’t we learn our lesson from Monicagate? The Times made the right decision to expose “the Maverick’s” hypocrisy, but printing unfounded insinuations about an affair to generate interest in their story is Murdoch territory. Even if the rumors turn out to be true, it’s unethical to report them with such flimsy evidence.
The real story the press should be focusing on in regard to McCain is his vote last week to green-light torture. As a former prisoner-of-war and a so-called advocate of human rights, McCain’s vote to approve waterboarding is disgraceful. This is the story that the New York Times, and the other major media outlets for that matter, should be covering. It boggles the mind that McCain’s endorsement of torture wasn’t the story the Times chose to place on their front page today.