The Times Strikes Back, Lamely

Hmmm. The timing of this Gray Lady article seems a little interesting — and its content just a little hostile. It looks like Elizabeth Bumiller and Lawrence Altman got tapped to provide the payback for getting excluded from John McCain’s press conference tomorrow for the release of his medical records. Let’s see how they position this:

Senator John McCain is set to release 400 pages of medical records, including documents related to his melanoma surgery in August 2000, to a tightly controlled group of reporters on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.

Mr. McCain said late last week that he had nothing to hide. Campaign officials have nonetheless said that even if nothing in the records suggests a problem with his health, a rush of news media reports focusing on the cancer surgery was not politically helpful and that they wanted to play down the information as much as possible — something that the timing of the release would seem to accomplish. …

The news organizations in the pool, selected by the campaign, include ABC News, The Arizona Republic, The Associated Press, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, Reuters, The Washington Post and, possibly, a newsmagazine.

Each organization is allowed two representatives and is expected to file a “pool report” for other reporters detailing the information in the records.

That’s “tightly controlled”? That sounds like everyone — well, almost everyone.

Looks like the Times followed through on its threat. They still fired a dud.