Jodi Kantor apparently got so desperate for dirt on Cindy McCain for the tiresome rehash the New York Times published today that she tried suckering teenagers on Facebook into cooperating with her.  The McCain campaign released the contents of an e-mail Kantor sent to one of Bridget McCain’s 16-year-old classmates through the social-networking site.  Is this what “political correspondents” do?:

I saw on facebook that you went to Xavier, and if you don’t mind, I’d love to ask you some advice about a story. I’m a reporter at the New York Times, writing a profile of Cindy McCain, and we are trying to get a sense of what she is like as a mother. So I’m reaching out to fellow parents at her kids’ schools. My understanding is that some of her older kids went to Brophy/Xavier, but I’m trying to figure out what school her 16 year old daughter Bridget attends– and a few people said it was PCDS. Do you know if that’s right? Again, we’re not really reporting on the kids, just seeking some fellow parents who can talk about what Mrs. McCain is like.

Also, if you know anyone else who I should talk to– basically anyone who has encountered Mrs. McCain and might be able to share impressions– that would be great.

Thanks so much for any help you can give me.

Jodi Kantor
Political correspondent
New York Times

This isn’t a message from a political correspondent.  It’s an attempt by a gossip-rag muckraker to get teenagers to dish dirt on a celebrity.  What does this have to do with politics? Quite frankly, the idea that the parents of Bridget’s classmates having anything pertinent to say about Mrs. McCain strikes me as prima facie evidence that the New York Times is desperate to derail John McCain in any manner possible.

Kantor’s piece is more evidence of that.  She makes reference to Cindy McCain supporting her husband when the NYT reported that McCain had to be separated from Vicki Iseman because of allegations of an affair.  That story was trash when the Times wrote it, and it’s particularly reprehensible for the Times to resurrect it now, without any reference to the avalanche of criticism they received for running that hit piece on the word of two disgruntled former staffers that wouldn’t identify themselves.

The New York Times long ago transformed itself into an advocacy organization for Barack Obama.  Trolling for dirt on Facebook among teenagers for hit pieces on a candidate’s spouse hits a new low.  Does the National Enquirer even do that?