Honestly, when I first heard reports about this, I thought they were in jest -- lampooning the Times' liberal bias. But I was quite wrong.
David Shipley, the Times' op-ed editor, sent an e-mail to McCain's staff rejecting the piece and offering suggestions on how to tailor it for resubmission. "I'm not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written. … Let me suggest an approach."
Just savor the dripping condescension. But it gets worse. Shipley said: "The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information; … he went into detail about his own plans. It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece." It would have to "articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq … lay out a clear plan for achieving victory -- with troop levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate."
In other words, it would have to use liberalspeak and "mirror" the messiah's. I'm almost speechless.
Liberal commentators, in defending the Times' position, are just as congenitally incapable of seeing this issue clearly. One such clarity-challenged defender argued it was reasonable for the Times to demand that McCain address the issues it raised.
That wholly misses the point. McCain is not a pundit in training submitting an opinion piece for publication, but the presumptive Republican presidential nominee presenting his side of the case. Sheer fairness alone would mandate that the Times run McCain's piece uncensored, as it did his opponent's.
Those saying the Times has an absolute right to reject McCain's work embarrass themselves. This is not about the Times' rights, but the propriety and fairness in their editorial decisions, the mindset leading them to those decisions and their inability to see their own mind-numbing bias in the process.
The left supports campaign finance reform, the Fairness Doctrine and other policies allegedly aimed at ensuring that both sides of the political argument be aired. But it's a colossal fraud.
The Times' rejection of McCain's piece is a case study in how liberals apply these principles. They don't believe in both sides presenting their viewpoints, but in controlling the nature and scope of the discussion.
Can you imagine what would be in store for political speech in this country if liberals resumed regulatory control of the airways?
I can and am horrified at the prospect; and you should be, too.