I can only hope that most Americans from all political stripes will be able to see right through this episode. When the Times peered down from its lofty liberal tower a couple of weeks ago and officially endorsed McCain as the GOP nominee, many of us knew right then that there was going to be big trouble ahead.
I just didn’t think it would happen so quickly.
The fact that it was well known that the newspaper was investigating this non-story about sleazy, baseless allegations for months prior to their “endorsement” of McCain should, on the merits, make their nod towards Sen. McCain utterly meaningless and completely disingenuous.
All the New York Times was doing was falsely propping Sen. McCain up in order to tear him down a few weeks later.
But just like Hillary Clinton’s tears handed her New Hampshire, so should this ugly media attack benefit Sen. McCain. This will be remembered as the cheap shot of the 2008 campaign. And decent people don’t like seeing people brutalized by cheap shots.
Those of us with radio shows or newspaper columns have been fed a rumor about Sen. Barack Obama for months now. It’s a graphically vivid rumor, a tale of degradation and illegality that would make just about anyone with an ounce of decency cringe.
If true, it certainly is a tale that would doom any political candidate’s chances.
But no broadcaster or newspaper columnist with a shred of common decency would ever publicize that rumor. We know that it would be shameful to try and smear Obama with whispered innuendos and sleazy stories that we couldn’t corroborate, despite the intensity with which some of us disagree with Sen. Obama.
In other words, we wouldn’t dare go where the New York Times went with Sen. John McCain this week.
No, the Times is in a league all its own. And it’s not a league that anyone could be proud of.