Three days later the Times followed up on the story with an editorial that said “there is nothing illegal” about McCain’s relationship with Diamond, but rather, is “evidence that Mr. McCain is as mortal — or compromising — as the next politician.”
On May 3, Times reporters Michael Cooper and Julie Bosman accused McCain of distorting his Democratic presidential rivals’ universal healthcare plans. They wrote, “Senator John McCain has been repeatedly suggesting that his Democratic rivals are proposing a single-payer, or even a nationalized health care system along the lines of those in countries like Canada and Britain. The suggestion is incorrect. While both Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York are calling for universal health care and an expanded role for government, they stop well short of calling for a single-payer plan.”
Oddly enough, both Clinton and Obama have said they support single-payer. And at a campaign event in Connecticut, Clinton was asked by a Yale medical student if she would sign a single-payer healthcare bill. According to the student, Clinton said “yes” and shook the student’s hand. Obama explicitly said in a 2003 speech before the AFL-CIO, “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer health care program.”
On May 4, a Times editorial introduced new disclosure standards for McCain, based on his age. It said McCain has a “larger duty than usual to provide detailed, timely disclosure about his health” because he “is 71 years old, a survivor of an aggressive form of skin cancer. If elected, he would be the oldest man to become president.” The piece also called for his millionaire wife to publicly release her separate tax forms although most of her tax information is already available on Mr. McCain’s Senate financial disclosure forms, submitted on an annual basis. These forms are available on opensecrets.com and show the sources of Mrs. McCain’s income, although it does not show the exact amount earned from those sources.
In his Monday statement strategist Salter said McCain staffers told the Times McCain’s health records would be released on May 23, but the paper chose to ignore that information.
“On Sunday the New York Times ran an absurd editorial demanding that the campaign release health records that the campaign had already publicly stated will be released in three weeks,” Salter said. “Yes, you read that right: The Times was told that the records will be released on May 23rd, and ran the attack anyway. This comes after months of Times ‘news’ stories attacking John McCain on all fronts, some earning the rebuke of the Times's own editors. At this point, the Times's effort really has become so transparent and juvenile that voters are sure to see right through it.”