By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The feeding frenzy is under way

The John McCain story has led to the media-ethics feeding frenzy of 2008. We’re going to know a lot more in a few days. Right now, we should just hang on. Still, I can’t resist posting a few tidbits.

The New Republic’s backgrounder, by Gabriel Sherman, is a must-read. It seems possible — even probable — that it was Sherman’s nosing-around that finally led the New York Times into running what it had. Bill Keller sounds really steamed. I’d love to hear a recording of him sarcastically spitting out the phrase “special correspondent.” Except that it was in an e-mail.

I and others have already speculated how miffed Mitt Romney must be that the Times waited until after McCain had all but wrapped up the nomination before dropping its bombshell. Well, Charles Kaiser of Radar now says one of the Times’ tipsters was former congressman Vin Weber, who just so happened to have been an official with the Romney campaign. Weber has denied it, but Kaiser’s not taking it back. So who knows?

Adam Reilly points out that the Boston Globe chose to run the Washington Post’s version rather than the Times’ more incendiary (i.e., sex rumors included played up) story, even though the Globe is owned by the New York Times Co. Interesting. But last night, I noticed that there was a link to the Times story featured prominently on the home page of the Globe’s Boston.com site.

Finally, no offense to Ryan Lizza, but I don’t think I’m going to get around to reading his New Yorker article on whether McCain can remake the Republican Party. Talk about bad timing.

File photo of Cindy and John McCain (cc) by Chris Dunn and republished here under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.


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5 Comments

  1. Don, American

    An eight year old story? How desperate can the Times get?

  2. Rick

    A perfect example of why journalists have lost a lot of credibility with the public is that NY Times story.

  3. Anonymous

    It is disgusting how the media in this country flock to stories on sex and innuendo, when we have so many really serious and important things to deal with. No wonder no one respects them anymore. I wonder if they even respect themselves.

  4. mike_b1

    anon 8:31, you say that, and yet, how many people tuned in for the Monica Lewinsky updates? How many people believed the Swift Boat nonsense? How many people are on the edge of their seat wondering whether Britney Spears will get her kids back?You are asking the media to be the thought police. That’s inherently antithetical to the concept of a free media.

  5. Anonymous

    This is not a bombshell; it is a suicide bombing. In the not-so-long run, this will hurt the shareholders and the employees of the Times.

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