Someone please call the Gray Lady a waaahmbulance! Update: It wasn’t “tightly controlled” in 1999

posted at 12:30 pm on May 24, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

On Wednesday, I reported that the John McCain campaign got threatened by the New York Times with negative coverage of the medical-records release unless the campaign issued the paper an invitation to the press pool. The Times’ Washington bureau never responded to a request for a response to my queries on that story, but dutifully, they published a story the next day accusing the campaign of holding a “tightly-controlled” release, despite the presence of several national media outlets.

Apparently, they still haven’t recovered from their snit. Today, Elizabeth Bumiller and Lawrence Altman essentially re-run their whining from Thursday in their review of McCain’s medical records:

Senator John McCain released his medical records on Friday under tightly controlled circumstances, allowing them to be reviewed by a small group of reporters from news organizations that his campaign chose. …

The media organizations in the pool included ABC News, The Arizona Republic, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Reuters and The Washington Post. Before the viewing, the campaign provided a look to The Associated Press.

The campaign did not include The New York Times in the pool, declined a request by The Times to review Mr. McCain’s 2000 to 2008 medical records after the viewing and did not call on The Times in the conference call. Throughout the primary season, the campaign declined requests by The Times to interview Mr. McCain or his doctors about his medical history.

Gee, I wonder why that is? Perhaps it’s because the Times has delivered biased hit pieces disguised as news, and an outrageously unfair editorial accusing McCain of a cover-up while noting his scheduled release on the 23rd. Bumiller herself got caught in a lie by reporting that McCain’s temper had flared in a Q&A with reporters, which a video taken of the exchange showed Bumiller’s dishonesty.

Now the Gray Lady shrieks at getting frozen out of campaign events. If they hadn’t made themselves into such obvious partisans, they would have better access. When the Times ran the piece that accused McCain of having an affair with less evidence than it takes to get a story in the National Enquirer, they ceased being a newspaper and became a gossip rag. If they don’t like that reality, then the Times needs to fire the editors responsible and hire responsible editors in their place.

Update: Tightly controlled?  In 1999, the Times praised McCain and called his disclosure process a model for presidential candidates — even though McCain used a smaller media pool in 1999 than yesterday:

Mr. McCain’s disclosure should not set off a browbeating of other candidates to match him detail for detail. But it does outline a common-sense approach. Presidential health, like presidential character, is an important public concern. Voters have a right to look at anything that relates to ability to serve, including major health issues in a candidate’s life. Journalists have a corresponding duty to be responsibly curious about these matters. Mr. McCain’s particular way of releasing information need not become an exact requirement for other candidates, but it ought to prompt them toward a corresponding openness appropriate to their own histories and candidacies.

The intellectual dishonesty continues ….


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Let’s not forget the Vicki Iseman hit piece. With friends like that…

Pablo on May 24, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Artie Sulzberger and his gang of anti-American diatribers are finding that the lies and total fabrications are not working like they did in “the good ole days.”

volsense on May 24, 2008 at 12:37 PM

It’s great to see McC slam the door in the grey lady’s face. Serves the useless tools right.

techno_barbarian on May 24, 2008 at 12:37 PM

When democrats don’t go on Fox News, its because they’re cowards.

When McCain doesn’t provide equal access to the New York Times, its because they’re unfairly biased and somebody should call the waaaaambulance.

Do I have that right?

e-pirate on May 24, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Now hopefully this is a trend that continues…..

drjohn on May 24, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Score, McCain.

The NYT and Rolling Stone are about neck and neck with the school newspaper at Berkley.

I really enjoy the New York Sun on-line, but really don’t have much background on the paper. Seems fair and balanced.

Hening on May 24, 2008 at 12:41 PM

When democrats don’t go on Fox News, its because they’re cowards.

When McCain doesn’t provide equal access to the New York Times, its because they’re unfairly biased and somebody should call the waaaaambulance.

Do I have that right?

e-pirate on May 24, 2008 at 12:39 PM

NO.

Fox News has been fair with Democrats.

Ask Ed Rendall, Terry McAuliffe and Lanny Daivs.

drjohn on May 24, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Do I have that right?

Almost. It’s not because they’re simply biased, it’s because they have a history of doing hit pieces on the candidate. Plenty of biased outlets were invited.

Pablo on May 24, 2008 at 12:43 PM

Ed, I don’t care how despicable the Times is, for the McCain camp to start excluding national media outlets out of spite is not a winning approach. If he becomes president, the Times is still going to be all over him and he is not going to be able to react like this.

Most of those outlets have behaved just as badly at times — not with regard to McCain, perhaps — but on other topics.

The Times is not going to change.

BigD on May 24, 2008 at 12:45 PM

The Times is not going to change.

True, but they are going to go bankrupt.

io on May 24, 2008 at 12:48 PM

New York Times – “All The News Fit To Print”… and to wrap fish with.

The NYT is a snooty holier-than-thou rag run by a bunch of snooty holier-than-thou reprobates who haven’t an inkling what unbiased truthful journalism even means. I hope they collapse and scatter in the winds like the should have years ago back when their reporters and editors were printing contrived and blatantly false stories before they got caught and got fired.

Wait… did I just say ‘back when’ and ‘were’? My bad.

SilverStar830 on May 24, 2008 at 12:52 PM

NO.

Fox News has been fair with Democrats.

Ask Ed Rendall, Terry McAuliffe and Lanny Daivs.

drjohn on May 24, 2008 at 12:41 PM

That would be three supporters from the Clinton camp? Not really a full cross section of the democrats.

Almost. It’s not because they’re simply biased, it’s because they have a history of doing hit pieces on the candidate. Plenty of biased outlets were invited.

Pablo on May 24, 2008 at 12:43 PM

Because Fox News never ran a “Obama attended a madrassa” story?

Personally, I think its childish that dems constantly assert Fox News is evil and that conservatives claim everybody else is, and its comically ironic to see either side claim its smart for their candidate to freeze out their supposed enemy while its cowardice for the opposition to do the same.

America is better served by having multiple media elements that sometimes report the “bad news” from all sides of the political spectrum. That’s the entire intent of “competition”

e-pirate on May 24, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Good on McCain…Maybe I can vote for him…

b4lucy on May 24, 2008 at 12:54 PM

What’s even more funny is that liberals are actually buying the “tightly controlled” BS, hook, line, and sinker.

Seixon on May 24, 2008 at 12:56 PM

I just wonder when the rest of the Sulzbergers are going to wake up and bitch-slap Lil’ Pinch around. Or is that that they just have so much money that they simply don’t care?

BigD

Why should Johnny Mac even bother to give them the time of day? They’re never going to endorse him anyway. He doesn’t need them.

drjohn

You left out Hillary. She actually seemed to enjoy the Fox gig she did recently. And don’t forget a couple of other Dems who are regulars on the channel-Pat Caddell and Bob Beckel. Technically Caddell hasn’t been a Dem for 20 years, but worked for Dems in ’88 and ’92.

Del Dolemonte on May 24, 2008 at 12:57 PM

e-pirate
Your comment is typical of political spin. How about if we ask the question this way:
When Democrats don’t go on Fox news they are considered righteous and good for staying away from the evil, biased Fox News but when McCain excludes the NY Times he is a coward?

Vince on May 24, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Since when is NYT entitled to an invitation? There were plenty of lib MSM represented there, so it wasn’t a question of balance, openness or fairness. And NYT will bash McCain no matter how much he might cower.

Let’s snub NYT in favor of the WaPo and some others for a while. Anything that highlights for the public eye the failing Gray Lady’s exceptional corruption can’t be all bad.

petefrt on May 24, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Enjoy the waterslide down NYT!

Egfrow on May 24, 2008 at 1:11 PM

LoL
and they flaunt it!

If I were the times, I’d just report what I could about his medical records and leave it at that.

idiots.

bridgetown on May 24, 2008 at 1:13 PM

Heh,

Tightly controlled = everyone but the NYT.

It’s got to be driving them buggy. Love it.

mesablue on May 24, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Do I have that right?

e-pirate on May 24, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Nope. Fox allows libs to spew their bilge unfiltered. The NYT takes a day to spin, obfuscate, twist and misquote their victim until he looks like a moron or worse. They have no right to be invited to these events, just like libs have no right to be on Fox.

Akzed on May 24, 2008 at 1:22 PM

The media organizations in the pool included ABC News, The Arizona Republic, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Reuters and The Washington Post. Before the viewing, the campaign provided a look to The Associated Press.

So tightly controlled, why, it’s almost the Bilderbergers (sp?).

Big John on May 24, 2008 at 1:24 PM

Keep it up, McCain team. In the future, if someone brings up a story printed in that rag, you should reply that you only comment on articles found in credible news sources.

Think_b4_speaking on May 24, 2008 at 1:24 PM

In my driveway in a yellow (yes yellow) plastic bag, the NYT. Everyone in the neighborhood got one. Guess they are fishing for subscribers. I’ll use mine to wrap fish.

Wade on May 24, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Ed, I don’t care how despicable the Times is, for the McCain camp to start excluding national media outlets out of spite is not a winning approach. If he becomes president, the Times is still going to be all over him and he is not going to be able to react like this.

BigD on May 24, 2008 at 12:45 PM

You’re funny. Do you do wedding receptions?

Jimmie on May 24, 2008 at 1:29 PM

C’mon NYT! Get that stock price to ZERO!

BKennedy on May 24, 2008 at 1:31 PM

The fact that CNN was selected to view the files should give some indication of just how incredibly slimy the New York Times really is.

rplat on May 24, 2008 at 1:31 PM

I think that McCain had excluded NYT for his own reasons. These are clearly evident based on NYT’s previous misreporting about him. It’s certainly not any kind of payback for democrats excluding Fox News (that worked really well, didn’t it?). Do you really think he cares about that?

Fox regularly had two sides of the debate, which is more than I can say about the other networks.

threeCents on May 24, 2008 at 1:33 PM

If your local rag still reprints NYT articles, this would be an excellent time to drop your subscription and fully explain why. Stop funding NYT funding sources! Yes we can.

T J Green on May 24, 2008 at 1:33 PM

What difference does it make how many news organizations looked at the documents? It doesn’t change what the documents say…….

ctmom on May 24, 2008 at 1:37 PM

Why should the NY Times be invited? There aren’t any journalists working for that rag. It is not a professional organization.

katieanne on May 24, 2008 at 1:42 PM

I noticed this leading headline on the front page of the New York Times web version today:

“Lack of Progress in McCain’s Bid Is G.O.P. Concern
By ADAM NAGOURNEY 12:28 PM ET
Some party leaders are worried about whether Senator John McCain has taken full advantage of Democratic turmoil to present a case for himself.
Lobbying Labyrinth in McCain Campaign 12:27 PM ET

They’re obviously still pouting and attempting to splatter their left wing rag with as much McCain negativism as possible.

rplat on May 24, 2008 at 1:42 PM

(Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton) declined a request by The Times to review Mr. McCain’s their 2000 to 2008 medical records after the viewing and did not call on The Times in the conference call. Throughout the primary season, the campaign (s) declined requests by The Times to interview Mr. McCain Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton or his their doctors about his their medical history.

Now, get busy with this whining The NYSlimes.

Entelechy on May 24, 2008 at 1:48 PM

I sense another 5% circulation loss coming.

jukin on May 24, 2008 at 1:52 PM

I love history. The hows, whys, and whats that got us here.
Time for history to write the final chapter for the New Yarns Today.

Limerick on May 24, 2008 at 2:04 PM

IMO – the NYT has the same problem with McCain, as McCain has with the Republican base:

“What do you mean I’m not invited to your soirée? Just because I poke you in the eye with a stick every chance I can, now I’m not invited???”

rockbend on May 24, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Because Fox News never ran a “Obama attended a madrassa” story?

e-pirate on May 24, 2008 at 12:53 PM

IIRC, they reported that it was being pushed by the Clinton camp, which it was.

Is there something unfair about this report? Is there something untrue about it? Is there some evidence of bias in it?

Pablo on May 24, 2008 at 2:19 PM

e-pirate on May 24, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Yep, Fox news is crap, but it does not run hit pieces.

Squid Shark on May 24, 2008 at 2:37 PM

If, by some chance, McCain does get elected, I hope his first move is to revoke the NY Times’s White House Press Credentials. I hope his second move is to ignore the wailing.

trigon on May 24, 2008 at 2:43 PM

trigon on May 24, 2008 at 2:43 PM

That and kick Helen Thomas out.

Squid Shark on May 24, 2008 at 2:44 PM

That and kick Helen Thomas out.

Squid Shark on May 24, 2008 at 2:44 PM

Helen Thomas is still alive?

trigon on May 24, 2008 at 2:56 PM

trigon on May 24, 2008 at 2:43 PM

That and kick Helen Thomas out.

Squid Shark on May 24, 2008 at 2:44 PM

Hear, Hear… I think she, and her minion, are there not to report the news but rather create the next big anti-Bush, anti-America scandal. I think they are hard-core communist and socialist douchebags. I would consider Helen a traitor and an enemy of America. Sorry, just how I see it.

Claypigeon on May 24, 2008 at 2:57 PM

How can you tell?

rockbend on May 24, 2008 at 2:57 PM

“waaahmbulance”
Great Headline Ed

Enjoy the waterslide down NYT!

Egfrow on May 24, 2008 at 1:11 PM

Heh, LOL

abinitioadinfinitum on May 24, 2008 at 3:02 PM

How the media equation has changed! Five years ago no candidate in either pary could ignore the Times. Now McCain does. On the other side, the leadership of the Democrat party made a concerted effort to boycott Fox News to marginalize them. They failed, with both the leading Dem candidates requesting FoxNews interviews and getting them.

This is a punch in the gut to the Times. Their vaunted reputation has been badly damaged by self inflicted wounds. Good for McCain to let them know they can be marginalized. Wish Bush had done it too.

Corky Boyd on May 24, 2008 at 4:21 PM

I had to laugh when I saw that Mav dissed Gray Lady. I’m in the hope this has a domino affect with not only candidates, but already elected officials. If they can’t get a story straight, why use em?

oakpack on May 24, 2008 at 5:12 PM

If memory serves, nothing was more tightly controlled than Kerry’s service records. America is still waiting for the unsanitized version.

onlineanalyst on May 24, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Hilarious stuff. Let’s hope the campaign has the clarity of purpose and integrity to bar the Times from all campaign events and access throughout the election.

Jaibones on May 24, 2008 at 5:14 PM

“When the Times ran the piece that accused McCain of having an affair with less evidence than it takes to get a story in the National Enquirer…”

I love the way Mr. Morrissey writes :)

Kevin M on May 24, 2008 at 5:24 PM

As I recall, the NYT gave Billy Jeff Clinton a pass for keeping his medical history a total secret. And later yawned when Jean-Claude Kerry refused to release his military records.

Del Dolemonte on May 24, 2008 at 5:53 PM

The Old Grey Lady is in good company – Keith Olberman and Chris Shivering Legs Matthews were also excluded!

iam7545 on May 24, 2008 at 5:57 PM

“What do you mean I’m not invited to your soirée? …”
rockbend on May 24, 2008 at 2:09 PM

I’m impressed that you went out of your way to include the accent mark, rockbend.

Conservatives – we go the extra mile!

Rosmerta on May 24, 2008 at 6:19 PM

LOL…and look at the pic they include with the article…a 2002 shot of McCain with a big bandage across the bridge of his nose. You stay classy, NYT. They’re not a newspaper; they’re a dirty politics organization that publishes a newspaper.

Django on May 24, 2008 at 6:38 PM

The media organizations in the pool included ABC News, The Arizona Republic, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Reuters and The Washington Post. Before the viewing, the campaign provided a look to The Associated Press.

It looks to me that you could say the only newspapers that were included could be described as McCains two hometown newspapers.

Sounds like the times reporters realize that their jobs are on the line. When the old gray fish wrap ‘sorry I refuse to use the word lady to describe the NYT’ has to rely on AP or Reuters to cover the news> It will be much more difficult to distort the facts.

meci on May 24, 2008 at 6:50 PM

Because Fox News never ran a “Obama attended a madrassa” story?

e-pirate on May 24, 2008 at 12:53 PM

He did. Is there some reason you feel the story should be ignored? Should we ignore the story about McCain attending La Raza conventions too?

Gregor on May 25, 2008 at 3:45 AM

The New York Times is THE paper of intellectual dishonesty.

Kevin71 on May 25, 2008 at 8:22 AM

Seems to me this back and forth of who justifiably disses this or that news outlet misses the more serious point that the NYT threatened a candidate with (more) negative coverage if they didn’t get an invite, as if they’re absence meant the news wouldn’t get out and their threat was the appropriate way to deal with that.

aikidoka on May 25, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Thank you aikidoka, you hit the nail exactly centered on its head.

TimothyJ on May 25, 2008 at 2:46 PM