Patterico's Pontifications

7/21/2008

Why the New York Times Rejected John McCain’s Op-Ed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:11 pm

Some of my more paranoid friends on the right see “liberal bias” in the decision of the New York Times to reject John McCain’s op-ed about Iraq. As their “evidence” they cite the fact that, just one week ago, the same paper published Barack Obama’s op-ed on the same topic.

But New York Times editor David Shipley has made it clear that the paper wasn’t rejecting any op-ed by McCain, just the one he wrote.

What would be acceptable to Shipley? Our friends at The Nose on Your Face found Shipley’s notes to McCain’s piece, so you can see for yourself.

62 Responses to “Why the New York Times Rejected John McCain’s Op-Ed”

  1. They’re such obvious hypocrites, aren’t they?

    ras (fc54bb)

  2. The funniest parodies are the ones in which there is a nugget of truth and that link is funny.

    DRJ (92ca6f)

  3. That is absolutely hilarious.

    Paul (2ae585)

  4. David Shipley used to be married to the strident uber-feminist, Naomi Wolf. (“Oh, the horror, the horror!”)

    Official Internet Data Office (25c76e)

  5. Shipley should have run the McCain op-ed, even if it failed style points as a rebuttal.

    While it’s not as though op-ed submissions are never sent back for re-write, an exemption for a major party presidential candidate seems due. And yet, few become so resentful they leak it to the alternate media.

    steve (0c2c41)

  6. And yet, few become so resentful they leak it to the alternate media.

    Could you give us a few examples of this having happened before, so we can judge the comparative resentment of all the other major presidential candidates who have been denied an op-ed opportunity granted to his opponent?

    Patterico (cb443b)

  7. Oh boy, it seems theres more than a nugget in there! Best line: “I am also dismayed that he never talks about monumentally important role that the New York Times plays in our daily lives.” Heh.

    The irony of this coming on the heels of the Rasmussen poll is not be overlooked.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/belief_growing_that_reporters_are_trying_to_help_obama_win

    Dana (f3e2a8)

  8. When McCain replies to Obama, or when Obama replies to McCain, it’s news.

    It’s not an essay, to be adjudged worthy or unworthy of publication by some unknown clerk with a bluebook.

    But then, the clerks of the NYTs have never shied from quashing misdirected or wrongfully conceived news. They are the gatekeepers. They always have been.

    Those other gates probably don’t even open, anyway.

    bobby b (4baf73)

  9. I see this as a fake issue. The NYT didn’t offer both candidates equal space to write an essay about Iraq. If that were the case, McCain would be right to complain that his submission was rejected.

    Instead, what happened is that the NYT decided to publish an op-ed that Obama submitted, which summarized his view of how the US should deal with Iraq going forward, which contained some criticism of the Bush/McCain view as contrast.

    In response, McCain submitted a rebuttal that largely failed to outline what his view is concerning future US policy concerning Iraq, but instead was mostly an attack on the credibility and background of the author of the first op-ed.

    McCain submitted a press release responding to an op-ed, or a letter to the editor rebutting a NYT op-ed, but not itself really rising to the level of an op-ed. He attacks an opinion without offering much of an opinion of his own.

    Shipley made clear that he doesn’t want to publish “here is why Obama’s opinion sucks,” but would be happy to publish, “here is why Obama’s opinion sucks and what I would do in contrast.”

    Shouldn’t be hard for McCain to come up with that if he has a view on the future of Iraq he is willing to articulate.

    And if he can’t, or won’t, offer his own opinion about Iraq beyond an attack against the opinion of Obama, then we shouldn’t really be outraged over the fact that the NYT op-ed page wants something more than “he is wrong” and would like to see “he is wrong, here’s why and what I would do” from persons running for President.

    And whether McCain’s initial submission should have met the standards of the NYT op-ed committee is a pretty much silly issue. It’s a free press. They set their own standards, regardless of what you or I think. I personally think that “the other side sucks, here is what I think” is a good op-ed while “the previously stated opinion sucks” without articulation of what the author would do instead is a bad op-ed.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  10. This is another take from a Times writer, and worth reading in full.

    “First, having run an Obama piece on Iraq I would be keen on having a matching McCain piece. Keen but not desperate. Over time it is good to have balance, but it is not necessary to have tit for tat pieces every time.

    Second, the job of a Comment Editor is to provide readers with an insight into the political debate. One is not part of the official machinery – required to provide space for rebuttal. If that was a requirement, President Bush would be able to commandeer half a page every day in order to reply to his critics.

    So there is no absolute requirement for the NYT to run a McCain piece. Naturally, however, the Editor should want his readers to know what McCain thinks on such a big question. And this might be a good moment to have a piece by him. So why not run it?”

    Well, political pieces by elected officials or candidates can often be very boring – safe, unrevealing and tediously partisan. In general I required such pieces to jump over a pretty high importance barrier before I ran them.

    Obama’s piece vaulted that hurdle. It outlined his views, pretty much avoided point scoring, and dealt with the issue.

    McCain’s piece, on the other hand, knocked the hurdle over. It wasn’t about Iraq. It was about Obama. If I received it I would have done exactly what the NYT did – send it back and ask them to redraft it so that it was about Iraq and was more, well, interesting.

    Dana (f3e2a8)

  11. In response, McCain submitted a rebuttal that largely failed to outline what his view is concerning future US policy concerning Iraq,

    McCain, unlike Obama, has been telling us his policy for the last two years. Catching Obamessiah in a policy is like catching mercury when it is rolling around on the table top.

    The NY Times is dying and this was another of its death throes. Like the LA Times, it has reconfigured itself as a boutique publication for the radical left, not realizing that the radical left already has Rolling Stone as reading material.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  12. Aplomb, sure the NYTS has control over their own op-ed page. But that is not the point, which you seem not to be able to grasp.

    Senator McCain’s op-ed was exactly what the NYTs said is was; a rebuttal to Senator Obama’s op-ed. And in those terms, it should have been printed. And let the voters decide what they want, not what the NYTs think they want.

    It is not up to the NYTs, or any publication for that matter, to dictate to a candidate what they will discuss in an op-ed. It is up to the NYTs, and any publication for that matter, to present everything to the American voter, who obviously Shipley thinks are too stupid to decide for themselves if McCain’s op-ed was worth reading.

    The bias on the part of the NYTs is so blatant that it is small wonder their publication is going down the toilet with record speed. Americans are getting rather tired of the elite media deciding what they should, and should not know.

    And true to the NYTs bias, they recently reported on the condemned murderer, Jose Medellin, featuring a picture of Medellin’s grandmother holding his picture. Nowhere in the article was pictures of the two children (14 & 15) that Medellin brutally murdered. You see, they want sympathy for the murder that Texas will execute in early August, not his victims.

    For you to defend the actions of the NYTs shows that you have no problem with media bias.

    retire05 (d3fce4)

  13. Could you give us a few examples of this having happened before, so we can judge the comparative resentment of all the other major presidential candidates who have been denied an op-ed opportunity granted to his opponent?

    How many examples of political figures railing against the unchecked power of the press would suffice?

    As the self-annointed paper of record, the NYT owes McCain a forum. The paper claims it has published at least seven of his op-eds since 1996, some of which may have undergone a re-draft. It seems whiny to run all this by Matt Drudge before the process played out over a single weekend. But the NYT had to know McCain could score easy points with a voting bloc that loves to hate their guts.

    steve (0c2c41)

  14. There just isn’t an excuse. If McCain’s response was sub-par, that’s news. If it was a proper response, that’s also worthy.

    One of the main points of the film “Good Night, and Good Luck”, George Clooney’s paean to Murrow and the power of the press to combat Joe McCarthy, was that Murrow simply let McCarthy hang himself – the media as a spotlight, illuminating the truth. (I’m not trying to get into the inaccuracies of the film, so please no thread hijacking)

    It’s telling that the NYT takes exactly the opposite view of the role of the media, that of restricting the reader’s access in order to “shape” the news “as they see fit.”

    Apogee (366e8b)

  15. McCain, unlike Obama, has been telling us his policy for the last two years. Catching Obamessiah in a policy is like catching mercury when it is rolling around on the table top.

    Well, OK, but in other forms and not in the form of a NYT op-ed. Obama submitted something in the form of a NYT op-ed, and the NYT published it. McCain submitted something that wasn’t in the form of a NYT op-ed, in that in the NYT (which of course controls what does and does not constitute an op-ed on its own pages) found it mostly an attack on and response to a previous piece without itself offering much of an opinion of its own on the central issue.

    Don’t really see the problem with the NYT asking a Presidential candidate to articulate an opinion on an issue on its op-ed pages. If McCain wants to launch a criticism of Obama’s op-ed piece without himself offering his own opinion, all he has to do is make a speech and it will appear on the news pages. “McCain criticizes Obama Op-Ed in Speech in Denver” will take up as much news space in any media following the campaign as anything else he decides to address that day.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  16. Its hilarious to see the Obama cult try to pretend that the media is not in the tank for the Obamessiah.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. The NYT will get around to “surrounding” this story, probably around a week from Saturday. Gotta give BO sufficient time for his victory lap.

    Chris (b6ebef)

  18. “Like the LA Times, it has reconfigured itself as a boutique publication for the radical left, not realizing that the radical left already has Rolling Stone as reading material.”

    - Mike K

    Oooh, Rolling Stone! So radical that they run huge ads for Converse, Sprint, Johnsonville Smoked Brats, Nestea, Heineken, Mastercard, Blackberry, Greyhound, TLC, Visa, Miller, Garnier, Gillette, Axe, Verizon, Honda, Orbit, Old Spice, Extra, and *State Farm* (for Pete’s sake) within the scope of one issue.

    Rolling Stone isn’t radical. They’re playing the same game as everybody else. And it’s stupid to pretend that reals radicals – left or right – think of Rolling Stone in any other way.

    Leviticus (48c207)

  19. Here’s a March 1, 2004, NY Times’ op-ed written by John Kerry after he had won several primaries, including contests Wikipedia called Mini Tuesday 2004, that made him the leader among the Democratic Presidential nominees. After reading Kerry’s op-ed, it doesn’t seem like the NY Times has rigorous standards regarding the topics on which the presumptive Presidential candidates may opine.

    DRJ (92ca6f)

  20. The NYT’s (Shipley’s) response to McCain included as its reasoning:

    The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans.

    It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory — with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the Senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan.

    To require laying out timetables and troop levels is getting into territory where it’s not merely requiring McCain to change the format of his op ed, but to change his own political positions as prerequisite for being published. He’s been against laying that out there to the extent Obama has, something that should be obvious to Times and that has been emphasized as one of the key differences between both candidates.

    I’d also add that while Shipley emphasizes the point that Obama offered new information (kinda odd given the number of Obama supporters saying lately that this is the plan he’s been touting all along), McCain’s op ed might come as news to Times readers given how little of the surge’s success they’ve reported on.

    Anon (a2601e)

  21. How many examples of political figures railing against the unchecked power of the press would suffice?

    None. How about an example that is actually relevant?

    Patterico (cb443b)

  22. I agree with aplomb.

    Thanks for submitting a copy of both candidate’s op-eds. It is quite obvious that McCain’s is poorly written, definitely an attack article and lacks substance -and says nothing he hasn’t said over and over again. He appears to be trying too hard to find something to give him the edge now that Mahlikai (sp)has agreed with Bush and Obama. He has an opportunity to re-write and put some substance in the article. The left is making too much of this.

    Patricia (0fbad4)

  23. Sorry, I meant to say that the right is making too much of this article. Especially when they decided to use it to fundraise.

    Patricia (0fbad4)

  24. The paper claims it has published at least seven of his op-eds since 1996, some of which may have undergone a re-draft.

    One other thing, in 1996 McCain wasn’t running for President and (I would assume) in most cases when those editorials were published he wasn’t. In that circumstance, it is a privilege to be published and it seems perfectly fine to me to ask for a redraft. When you publish the op ed of one of the two major candidates running for President (and you want to maintain that you’re objective), you ought to be prepared to publish the rebuttal without asking for a rewrite.

    Anon (a2601e)

  25. Aplomb #15:

    Don’t really see the problem with the NYT asking a Presidential candidate to articulate an opinion on an issue on its op-ed pages.

    Can you explain to me how the Kerry op-ed I linked in my comment #19 “articulate[s] an opinion on an issue”?

    DRJ (92ca6f)

  26. DRJ,

    Did you feel the essay by Kerry would have been better served in some other section of the paper instead of the Op-Ed page?

    I don’t know how many pieces Kerry wrote for the NYT but it would be interesting to see if the numbers compared with McCain’s and also if there are more personal narratives from McCain that have been published.

    Dana (f3e2a8)

  27. Dana,

    I have no problem with Kerry’s op-ed but I think it illustrates the hypocrisy of the NY Times’ editors regarding what they expect from presumptive Republican nominees vs. Democratic nominees.

    DRJ (92ca6f)

  28. We once wrote a piece rebutting Walter Duranty, but the NYT deemed that unacceptable, too.

    10M dead Ukrainians (fc54bb)

  29. I dont’ disagree, DRJ, I think without question there is not a level playing field with the NYT. However, I was just reading the NYT’s criteria for Op-Eds and their bases are covered in the decision not to publish McCain’s piece.

    “In fact, the bar of acceptance gets nudged a little higher for people who have the means to get their message out in other ways — elected officials, heads of state, corporate titans. It’s incumbent on them to say something forthright and unexpected. Op-Ed real estate is too valuable to be taken up with press releases.

    The Op-Ed editors tend to look for articles that cover subjects and make arguments that have not been articulated elsewhere in the editorial space.

    I wonder, because of our own distaste for the NYT and their track record, and say McCain’s piece was indeed technically lacking in several areas (see Patricia’s informed comment at #22), if our own biases are getting in the way of objectivity? A reverse form…

    Dana (f3e2a8)

  30. Anon,
    Good one, but damn the parenthetical:
    “…(and you want to maintain that you’re objective), you ought to be prepared to publish the rebuttal without asking for a rewrite.”

    No time for objectivity. There’s an election to win. Hail to the agitator!

    Chris (b6ebef)

  31. New(RIP)sobriquet for NYT~PRAVDA/US(SR)A 2008.

    Arthur F. McVarish (361a50)

  32. Dana,

    How does Kerry’s op-ed meet that criteria? He was a public figure who had many avenues to get his message out, including a campaign press release. And it wasn’t exactly news that Kerry opposed the Vietnam War.

    DRJ (92ca6f)

  33. “Personal experiences and first-person narrative can be great, particularly when they’re in service to a larger idea.” (from the NYT op-ed criteria)

    I suspect this would be how. It was a personal narrative speaking to the larger idea of what made the candidate, the man, the evolution of him through military experiences, blah, blah. That is why I asked whether you felt it might have been better served elsewhere. To me it would have but apparently it too meets the requirements.

    Dana (f3e2a8)

  34. How about an example that is actually relevant?

    Enlisting Matt Drudge is obviously unique. Going over the heads of media gatekeepers is not. If this generates 200 posts per political blog, the tactic cannot be faulted.

    It’s doubtful anyone can warrant Bob Dole’s NYT op-eds never were re-drafted. Or McCain’s earlier submissions, for that matter.

    Given they’re our soon-to-be major party standard-bearers, it would have been proper to let the readers decide and not argue one piece breaks new ground and one doesn’t.

    steve (0c2c41)

  35. Dana,
    You make a good point regarding the NYT standards were these two competing for a House or Senate seat. When a major party presidential candidate has a direct response to another major party presidential candidate who had opined just days prior on the same piece of real estate, however, it would appear to be, by definition, news.

    If McCain had chosen to respond to Britney Spears, it would seem to be in the public interest to publish it 100 days out from the presidential election.

    The following requirement also seems to have been fully met:

    ” The Op-Ed editors tend to look for articles that cover subjects and make arguments that have not been articulated elsewhere in the editorial space.”

    I suppose it’s possible that someone had written a guest piece pointing out the flaws and contradictions presented by BO’s foreign policy pronouncements on that valuable piece of real estate that is the NYT op-ed page, but I doubt it.

    I get the gist of what you are saying but think you’re being far too charitable. If they had a track record of giving an even break to anyone to the right of Chuck Schumer when it mattered, I might buy into your argument. As it stands though, I can’t take their “standards” defense at face value.

    Kind of like their corrections page. Every correction that they issue tends to skew in favor of righting a misstatement which originally made the Republican/conservative (position) look bad. Mistake on A1, correction on B19. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    It’s easy to feign evenhandedness in January or February but quite another in late July. That piece would have undercut the BO World Tour to some extent. Yes, I’m even questioning the timing.

    Chris (b6ebef)

  36. Chris,

    I’m not being charitable because as I stated, I don’t believe there is a level playing field at the NYT. Not at all. The biases have been well documented and discussed (and denied by NYT).

    However, in the midst of this discussion, it occurred to me what if this one time they made a legitimate decision based on a lack of something fresh & new, something that is poorly written, etc. Because of our pre-suppositions re the NYT and our own already in place biases (based on history), would we be able to see the validity of a legitimate decision? I’m not sure. The NYT elicits even more reflexive reactions that the LAT!

    From my comment at #10,

    “Second, the job of a Comment Editor is to provide readers with an insight into the political debate. One is not part of the official machinery – required to provide space for rebuttal. If that was a requirement, President Bush would be able to commandeer half a page every day in order to reply to his critics.”

    Dana (f3e2a8)

  37. Dana,

    I agree that Kerry’s op-ed was a personal narrative but the “larger idea” it served was Kerry’s candidacy. Nevertheless, I’m not arguing that Kerry’s op-ed shouldn’t have been published, only that McCain’s should have been. It’s all news because virtually everything major party candidates do and say is news, especially once they become the presumptive nominees. I think that makes McCain’s op-ed news as well, especially when he’s responding to the other nominee and even more so when the topic is our nation at war.

    The amazing thing is that one of the reasons the NY Times gave for refusing to publish is (I’m paraphrasing) because McCain’s op-ed doesn’t offer new information or break new ground. In a sense, the NY Times refused to publish McCain’s opinions because he’s been saying the same thing since 2003. How ironic is that?

    DRJ (92ca6f)

  38. McCain submitted something that wasn’t in the form of a NYT op-ed,

    Evidence, please ? They chose to reject the op-ed. That is in their power. McCain’s people astutely then went to Drudge. One more nail in the NYT’s coffin. Do you remember what the Times’ motto is ?

    “All the news that’s fit to print.”

    Sulzberger’s ancestors are rolling in their graves to see what he has done with the franchise. What will be your response when Rasmussen’s poll has 75% of independents concluding that the media is biased for Obama ? It’s at 50% now.

    As for unaffiliated voters, 50% see a pro-Obama bias and 21% see unbiased coverage. Just 12% of those not affiliated with either major party believe the reporters are trying to help McCain.

    Hmmmm?

    Mike K (2cf494)

  39. Dana #36 – As I said earlier #14, the NYT is using subjective reasoning to frame McCain’s OpEd as sub-standard. Taking them at their word regarding the quality of McCain’s writing, the fact that a Presidential candidate would submit a sub-standard or repetitive OpEd is newsworthy, in that one would assume it adds to the voter’s breadth of knowledge regarding the capabilities of the candidate.

    That is, if the NYT was really interested in presenting McCain as he is.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  40. Dana,
    Got your point. I just thought your theory, while plausible, to a certain extent, was maybe bending a little too far backwards to be fair.

    And think about the decision from a purely business sense. You’ve got the opportunity to have the presidential candidates slugging it out, IN YOUR PAPER!, for the next 100 days. Why would any self-respecting journalist not allow for that possibility to play out. You just know BO would have to respond next week.

    It’s a stupid decision on every level, which is what we’ve come to expect from the old gray dinosaur. How much new ground did they break after the 10th front-pager on Abu Ghraib? the 20th? The 30th?

    You get the picture. There are no standards at play at the Times other than political ideology. They gave cut-rate ads for MoveOn(dolt)Org. There’s no one there with any business or political sense which is one reason the stock is languishing near 20 year lows. I realize there are macro factors at play as well which contribute but, come on. There is no adult supervision in Timesland.

    Chris (b6ebef)

  41. Chris,

    That’s a good point. If nothing else, this was a bad business decision by the NY Times … but that’s something we’ve come to expect.

    DRJ (92ca6f)

  42. I think there is some confusion between the news space and the op-ed space going on here.

    Op-eds aren’t news, they are the personal opinions of the authors. The ‘eds” are usually unsigned opinions of the editors or publishers of the newspaper, intentionally segregated from the news. They are particularly valuable in deciding in which way that paper is biased.

    The “ops” however are opinions and essays from people unconnected from the paper. The criteria in publishing them, at least ideally, is usually how interesting they are, and how much they illuminate the issues of the day, regardless of whether or not the paper agrees with it. It is usually an essay by an author stating “here is what I think, or where I am coming from, or what we should do.”

    The Kerry op fits, because considering the time it was published, agree or disagree, Kerry wrote an essay about what he was thinking at the time and where he was coming from. It reads like an opinion from Kerry, and tells us something about him. It is illuminating about the author in its way. You can read it and agree or disagree but at least you learn a bit about Kerry.

    The Obama op also fits, it addresses what the author is thinking at the time, his view on the current situation. It reads like an opinion from Obama, and tells us something about him. It is illuminating about the author in its way. You learn a bit about Obama, however you take it.

    The rejected McCain op doesn’t fit. We don’t learn anything about the author. It criticizes an earlier essay without illuminating anything about McCain, the putative author. It is a takedown, and doesn’t tell us anything about McCain except he doesn’t agree with an earlier article. It is not an original idea, an illumination, but an attack on another idea without putting something else forward.

    All this would be fine in the usual battle of speeches, news cycles, press releases and whatever. But in terms of an op-ed page, I can see why the NYT would ask McCain, “OK we understand why you disagree with what Obama thinks, but what do YOU think?”

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  43. Aplomb #42 …doesn’t tell us anything about McCain except he doesn’t agree with an earlier article.

    That’s not correct. It might tell us that McCain is adept at criticizing other opinions, while simultaneously failing to lead.

    If, of course, we were allowed to read it.

    But in terms of an op-ed page, I can see why the NYT would ask McCain, “OK we understand why you disagree with what Obama thinks, but what do YOU think?”

    And in terms of an op-ed page, what would be the difficulty in the editors asking exactly that the following day in their own editorial? Because, perhaps, the whole exercise is aimed at silencing McCain?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  44. Aplomb,
    Not gonna fly with too many here. I respect your opinion but totally disagree. By definition what McCain submitted was a strong opinion and it was news by virtue of his status as the Republican nominee for the presidency. He was taking issue with what he perceived to be mischaracterizations by BO. And it does reference some of his own vision, here for example:

    “No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

    But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.”

    It’s not technically “new”, of course, because McCain hasn’t changed his position on much about Iraq over the last three or four years. The Times’ response was absurd. They were basically telling him what to write if he wanted to be published.

    Here’s a suggestion for Shipley. Publish McCain’s op-ed and then criticize it on the same page the next day if you don’t like/agree with it. This was clearly a power play on his part. Bad business. Bad politics. Bad form.

    Did McCain get the opportunity to reject the Times’ ill-sourced hit piece on him and his alleged indiscretions with the lobbyist? Of course not. What journalistic standards was the Times operating under when they front-paged that non-story? They’re partisan hacks and not very good at hiding the fact.

    Chris (b6ebef)

  45. Apogee # 43: And in terms of an op-ed page, what would be the difficulty in the editors asking exactly that the following day in their own editorial? Because, perhaps, the whole exercise is aimed at silencing McCain?

    Because the NYT shouldn’t have to print an opinion on their own op/ed pages that doesn’t fit their definition of a submission that meets their criteria.

    That’s kind of my point. Obama writes something that works as a NYT op/ed. McCain didn’t. NYT explains what a NYT op/ed is and should be, and explains why the McCain submission fell short, and all but begs McCain to write a conforming submission by pointing out its criteria. McCain has the option of submitting a conforming op, or not. McCain or his supporters don’t have the option of complaining that McCain can never respond to Obama’s submission, when the not particularly onerous criteria are so clearly stated.

    It shouldn’t be up to the NYT to publish all the ops that don’t meet the criteria, and then explain the next day why they wouldn’t have published them, but for the fact that Apogee questions the difficulty of the process.

    Finally, if you think the NYT is silencing viewpoints by its op/ed policy, especially the viewpoints of McCain or other Presidential candidates, I really don’t know what to say. When McCain issues an important news statement, it is reported on the news page. If he issues a statement against Obama’s NYT opinion, it will be reported much wider and more prominently than a NYT op/ed, in every paper, including the NYT.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  46. “And think about the decision from a purely business sense. You’ve got the opportunity to have the presidential candidates slugging it out, IN YOUR PAPER!, for the next 100 days. Why would any self-respecting journalist not allow for that possibility to play out. You just know BO would have to respond next week.”

    Its interesting because I first read about the rejection by the NYT this afternoon at Hot Air and I had an immediate visceral reaction – First, they are insane not to print it – standards be damned. Talk about a free gift -increased readership, endless debate and talk from readers, the parties themselves, etc. Second, the obvious bias.

    But the more I thought about how immediate my response was, and how sure I was of it, I needed to stop and think it through. Its always a good exercise. It is possible to become so biased that objectivity can be lost, even on the right…and the right.

    And then it comes full circle, what if McCain’s piece really didn’t meet the criteria they have in place and they printed it anyway -would they be violating their own standards?

    Heh.

    Dana (f3e2a8)

  47. At the end of the day, this could possibly work out in McCain’s favor. And put another nail in the coffin of the NYT.

    ” Howard Kurtz gave his take last hour on CNN: “One irony of the internet age: the rejected piece will probably wind up getting far more attention by the controversy whipped up by Matt Drudge then if the New York Times had just gone ahead and published it,” said Kurtz”

    Dana (f3e2a8)

  48. Aplomb #45 – If he issues a statement against Obama’s NYT opinion, it will be reported much wider and more prominently than a NYT op/ed, in every paper, including the NYT.

    Just to be clear, I’m not advocating forcing the NYT to print op-ed’s it doesn’t want to. I just find it curious that the paper would reject an op-ed over unmet “criteria” and then report on it in it’s news department. (Which hasn’t happened, so it’s kind of moot)

    Their “criteria” is to sell newspapers, period.

    Also, it’s disingenuous to suggest that “all the ops that don’t meet the criteria” can be lumped in with an answer to a previous editorial by competing Presidential candidates. If Obama had not been accepted prior, then the NYT would have sounder footing in rejecting a McCain Op-Ed that appeared out of thin air. But the existence of a previous Op-Ed by an opposing candidate should weigh in favor of printing a rebuttal.

    It shouldn’t be up to the NYT to publish all the ops that don’t meet the criteria, and then explain the next day why they wouldn’t have published them, but for the fact that Apogee questions the difficulty of the process.

    That’s not what I suggested. What I suggested is that, in an opinion context, the NYT would have carte blanche to bring up the weak points in McCain’s submission (i.e. the supposed ‘all criticism and no ideas’), not lament the fact that they wouldn’t have published it. But that brings up a problem. They would then have to possibly defend a position from McCain, and like I’ve said, the point is to silence him.

    Why? Because the problem with Obama is that his ideas are weak and show his inexperience, and if McCain is allowed equal time with him, those weaknesses will become exposed. It is my personal opinion that the NYT is firmly in the Obama camp, and this editorial flap, which goes against all business interests, is demonstrative of the paper’s desire to limit discussion, not expand it.

    They’ve said there were problems with McCain’s op-ed. Fine. Print it and expose the problems. As was said before, the rejection of the two Presidential candidates going at it in the opinion section of your newspaper is something a publisher would pray for. They publish an opinion section to attract readers, not to use paper.

    You can spin it any way you want to, they’re protecting Obama.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  49. The Times isn’t a newspaper. It’s a leftoid propaganda rag.

    Dave Surls (de7f08)

  50. #18 – Leviticus

    Rolling Stone isn’t radical. They’re playing the same game as everybody else. And it’s stupid to pretend that reals [sic] radicals – left or right – think of Rolling Stone in any other way.

    – From the Rolling Stone endorsement of Obama, written by publisher Jann (pronounced “yawn”) Wenner:
    “There is a sense of dignity, even majesty, about him” [Check dictionary: majesty - see: grandeur ... grandeur - moral or intellectual greatness. Oh, please!]
    “He has a quality of thinking and intellectual and emotional honesty that is extraordinary. [In case you think the definition of "grandeur" wasn't what he meant.]
    “The book (Obama’s “Dreams From My Father”) was a revelation. [When you're in the Messiah business, revelations come with the territory.]
    “He chose to work as a community organizer … rather than join the wealthy insider world of corporate law.” [RS is not a part of the radical anti-capitalist left?]
    “Obama rejected the subtle imagery of false patriotism by not wearing a flag pin in his lapel” [Whoops!] “speaking frankly” [Double whoops!!] “sticking to his principles” [This editorial is from March 20th; it's a little scary to note how much things have changed since then, huh?]
    “The new president must transform our lethal energy economy — replacing oil and coal and the ethanol fraud with green alternatives and strict rain-forest preservation … before the planet becomes inhospitable for most human life” [Three reasons for the long quote: 1) To show fairness in noting the one thing Wenner got right -- ethanol fraud; 2) To ask why it is the job of the US to preserve the rain forest; 3) To display more radical left fear-mongering ("lethal", "inhospitable").]
    “In electing an African-American, we also profoundly renounce an ugliness and violence in our national character that have been further stoked by our president in these last eight years.” [George W. Bush has stoked racism during his time in office. How is that not the false, and over-the-top, assertion of a radical leftist?]

    [Seriously intentioned comparison of Obama to Lincoln deleted, lest it cause anyone to delete their dinner from their stomach.]

    – From the Rolling Stone assessment of McCain’s primary campaign, in the previous issue:
    “John McCain’s lust for war”; “When it comes to warmongering, the GOP candidate has no peer”; “The Arizona Senator has gone from laughingstock to presumptive nominee by campaigning for World War III”; “All they [the Republican Party] have left to offer is this sad, dwindling, knee-jerk patriotism”; “The lesson of the McCain campaign is that one should never underestimate America’s capacity for self-delusion”; “McCain’s vision, then and now, encompasses war as a way of life”; “No matter how moderate McCain seems on domestic issues, on the issue of war he’s stark raving mad”; “The principle of fighting first, thinking later and never, ever saying sorry — is what matters most to conservatives”; and then there’s the real whopper:
    “There is significant evidence that McCain believes war is something righteous and necessary, a tonic for the national soul, intrinsically “noble” irrespective of context” [Dictionary again: righteous - morally right or justifiable; hmmm, doesn't it define the radical left that they believe war is never justifiable and never necessary?]

    Icy Truth (28d384)

  51. If one fail to see any problem with the NY Times position then one needs to question our own bias. It is a clear bias. I see a lot danger in this country, where people are moving to extreme position. People hate Bush, people hate Clinton and the end people are moving to the far left and the far right with a lot of hate. One can not be sure this end well.
    Just remember because one hold a view doesn’t make it right. One always need to consider the other position as well.

    Hector (08d753)

  52. For crying out loud, McCain, make your point about the NYT bias and drop it.

    Then walk you fricking editorial to The Wall Street Journal.

    And then snub the NYT at every opportunity until the election. What do you care at this point? The NYT isn’t going to do you any favors. Do exactly what Obama’s campaign did to The New Yorker reporter.

    But whatever you do, quit whining. And stop responding to every unfounded charge of racism and criticism of Obama’s wife. Obama has plenty of media to shore up his image. You and your campaign don’t need waste days gnashing your teeth about how to respond to Obama’s problems.

    SAM (d671ab)

  53. I think there is some confusion between the news space and the op-ed space going on here.

    Op-eds aren’t news, they are the personal opinions of the authors. The ‘eds” are usually unsigned opinions of the editors or publishers of the newspaper, intentionally segregated from the news.

    Hot Air reprinted the NYT’s response to McCain (on why they wouldn’t print him). In that response Shipley stated “The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information.”

    Now, I agree this is the first I’ve heard of the opinion page = news and with the number of Obama supporters saying he didn’t flip and this is what he’s been supporting all along, I find it funny it would be designated as new, but if there’s any confusion here over the opinion page & news, it’s on the NYT’s part not ours.

    Anon (a2601e)

  54. Should have put the first sentences in quotes

    I think there is some confusion between the news space and the op-ed space going on here.

    Op-eds aren’t news, they are the personal opinions of the authors. The ‘eds” are usually unsigned opinions of the editors or publishers of the newspaper, intentionally segregated from the news.

    Hot Air reprinted the NYT’s response to McCain (on why they wouldn’t print him). In that response Shipley stated “The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information.”

    Now, I agree this is the first I’ve heard of the opinion page = news and with the number of Obama supporters saying he didn’t flip and this is what he’s been supporting all along, I find it funny it would be designated as new, but if there’s any confusion here over the opinion page & news, it’s on the NYT’s part not ours.

    Anon (a2601e)

  55. If the NYT were blown to Hell, who would miss it?

    PCD (5c49b0)

  56. For crying out loud, McCain, make your point about the NYT bias and drop it.

    SAM, this is actually pretty good strategy on McCain’s part, and utter stupidity on the NYT’s. McCain gets to take some of the news cycle away from the Obama concert tour fact finding trip, he gets to push the NYT out in front of a bus (referencing the General Betrayus bit is delicious), he gets to further point out that Obama published his plan before going out on his concert tour fact finding trip, and he gets far more exposure for the piece than he ever would have gotten had Shipley just printed it.

    The NYT shoots itself in the foot, and Obama catches some splatter. All in all, a good days work for Camp McCain.

    Pablo (99243e)

  57. After reading that, I will have to report for anger management classes.

    Bar Sinister (d92631)

  58. “RS is not a part of the radical anti-capitalist left?”

    - Icy Truth

    Uh, NO. Did you even read my post? Rolling Stone whores its pages to giant corporations just like any other magazine; they’ve just cornered a different market.

    Leviticus (f23a12)

  59. That just makes them radical, anti-capitalist leftist whores, Leviticus.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  60. Did I even read your post? Thanks for acknowledging all of the effort I put into responding directly to your post. Are you really going to parse anti-capitalist and anti- big business? The last time I checked advertising exists within Socialist nations. The fact that they want to push the govt to the left from within the capitalist system means nothing. They want an isolationist, restricted trade, universal health care, continued welfare, hate crime laws, affirmative action, higher capital gains tax, no nuclear energy, equal salary for unequal work, mandatory paid maternity leave, amnesty for illegals, forgive all third-world debt, hippie paradise.

    Icy Truth (d645e2)

  61. They’re partisan hacks and not very good at hiding the fact. ~ Chris

    What? They are not trying to hide they are partisan hacks at all. In fact, they’re damn proud of their partisan hackiness. Do you remember Dan Rather, on election night in 1996, when announcing Clinton’s victory over Dole, exclaimed, “We won!”

    RickZ (8df857)

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    gasmgjh (0fe3aa)


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