Bordering on Journalistic Malpractice

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Sep 24, 2008 11:58 AM
If The New York Times is going to promote this story -- that Freddie Mac paid McCain advisor Rick Davis' firm through last month -- it would seem appropriate to include two important facts that the Times "conveniently" left out.

(1) If the lobbying payments were intended to help Freddie Mac cozy up to John McCain himself, they were a dismal failure.

Here is the page from the Congressional Record on May 25, 2006 where John McCain actually expresses concern about "the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac" and "the role they play in the housing market."  Read it for yourself.

(2) Rick Davis has not received any compensation from his firm since he left in 2006.

In light of these facts, it really borders on journalistic malpractice for the Times to run a big story headlined "McCain's Aide's Firm Was Paid by Freddie Mac."  The clear implication -- contrary to fact -- is that McCain and/or his aide somehow profited from the now-discredited organization.

As the McCain campaign has pointed out, we're still waiting for any Times scrutiny of Obama aide David Axelrod's clients, contacts and associations.  But don't hold your breath -- after all, it's the New York Times.