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The "McCain Affair" — Is The New York Times in The Wrong?

The "McCain Affair" — Is The New York Times in The Wrong?

This morning's huge story in the New York Times raises suspicions of an inappropriate relationship between John McCain and a lobbyist named Vicki Iseman. McCain has already given a stern and measured denial at a press conference in Ohio. However, rather than the content of the story, it's the piece itself that seems to be the subject of scrutiny.

The piece raises the idea of the relationship, which allegedly surfaced eight years ago, and the controversy stems from the seeming lack of proof or real story. The extent of the affair seems to be this:

A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.

A short paragraph later the piece admits:

Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship.

The reaction to the piece has been focused on whether an unnamed source reporting that McCain's campaign staff had decided to lessen Iseman's presence, and the fact that both parties had categorically dismissed the story, makes it real news. In addition, the release of the story the day after McCain had used the word "nominee" raises questions of a possible smear tactic.

What do you think? Is there more to the story we don't know yet? Is the real problem that the woman was a lobbyist, whether or not there was a sexual component? Is the presence of suspicion of an affair damaging to a candidate who holds his integrity up as his identity? Was the Times grasping at straws?


Join The Conversation
kaenai kaenai 9 years
I don't know how to feel about it. This is the same crap in a different toilet, and I'm just tired of it, really. I don't believe that any president, senator, governor, mayor, etc. exist in a vacuum of morality and correctness, so I'm sure that he's made his mistakes just like any other person. The fact that we tend to hold these people up to some kind of super-morality mirror that we ourselves generally cannot live up to is preposterous, and makes we as citizens into hypocrites of the highest order, myself included. We tell ourselves we want someone we can relate to making policy for us, but when that person turns out to be someone we actually *can* relate to and understand, suddenly they're not good enough for anything but front-page, tabloid-style news. I, frankly, don't care what goes on in a politician's bedroom, as long as when he's in the boardroom, he can do his job effectively.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Surprised the NYT would be so blatant about their bias. So hate this newspaper - highly overrated.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I thought you agreed tresjolie, I just wanted to make sure what I was saying was coming across correctly. I can't always think of the best ways to state things!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Hey, Lilkimbo :) No, I just wanted to repeat what you said. Maybe I said it wrong. You know how it is when you're typing and thinking at the same time; it can get a little twisted. I just agreed with you. I was just so tired that the discussion was about infidelity and not ethics. Ah, am I making sense? Bottom line; we agree, I just put it a little strangely. ;)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Tresjolie, I think you may be a little confused with something I said. (Or I may be confused with something you said.) But, I definitely agree that no story can take away the fact that McCain is a war hero. Even many/most of his detractors agree with that.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Sorry it took me so long to respond; I had some work things to take care of. And there is a copious amount of evidence that Cindy McCain did in fact repent. She publicly apologized for her mistakes, attended rehab, participated in a diversion program, and paid fines. (All of this information comes from Wikipedia, which I wouldn't necessarily site in a research paper, but I think is a credible enough source for the sake of this argument.) As far as repenting to God/a higher power, the intended meaning of my use of "repent" was a non-religious one. It would be very difficult, if not impossible, to know if Cindy McCain repented to God in her own time. As far as Cindy McCain not going to jail, she was lucky to not have to serve any time. However, it is inaccurate to state that "any other American" would have had to serve time. I personally know someone who suffered from a long addiction to pain killers and who also participated in a diversion program. Diversion programs are becoming increasingly popular with our over-crowded jail system. Lastly, I would like to know what evidence you have (hotstuff, I believe, but I could be wrong) that McCain has asked for unilaterally stricter laws for drug offenders.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
The Washington Post is running the story as well, though I haven't read it yet.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
EXACTLY, mymellowman. It's not about virtue, it's about the credibility that a newspaper, once known for its concrete facts, has put out.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Zahara, I agree. I'm not saying that there is an ethics issue here, my point was more that if anything should have been debated on this issue it should have been on ethics, not whether or not he had an affair, as to which no one can seem to prove.
Cadet Cadet 9 years
As much as I really dislike the Republican Party, this story is coming out of nowhere and totally irrelevant! I wish the media would stop talking about trash and start talking about the issues for once. I think they'd be amazed at how many people actually care!
Zahara-Pitt Zahara-Pitt 9 years
Mccain still not violate any ethics law in regards to his dealing with the lobbists, Mccain actually voted against the telecompany numerous times, this is smear job at its worse... whta point is NYT trying to make cause the only thing people are talking about ish ow McCain had apossible affair with a lobbists
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Tres, as I was expecting, you brought up the real issue at hand and what should have been the real issue all along. :)
Zahara-Pitt Zahara-Pitt 9 years
remember in 2004 the smear campgain that karl rove and gwb did against mccain... something fishy is going on
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
"I mean I personally would rather have a cheater then a drug addict running the country."" - I believe she can clarify herself, but I would be happy to (I'm sure she'll object if I mis-represent): That was a sarcastic representation of how distorted these two events are in relation to what is actually at hand here." ~ Thank you MMM. That is exactly what is was. "First of all, as cine_lover has stated, that comment was meant to show how ridiculous it is that people are using the "he cheated in the past, so he must have cheated again, so that makes him a bad choice to be president" argument. (Based on many comments, that's what I think his/her intentions were.)" - Thank you lilkimbo. I am glad at least two people got what I was going for!
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 9 years
Is it just me or does Viki look like Cindy Mccain?? There's something there.....
Princesskitty22 Princesskitty22 9 years
I don't think they should run a story if they have no proof; they're not a gossip blog, they're a newspaper.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Anyone McCain supporters concerned about the on-record comments made by John Weaver (former top McCain aid)?
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
"an Obama supporter" of course. Lilkimbo, not any story, however crazy, can take away the fact that John McCain is a war hero. He is and he always will be. Now I'm done. Got to work.
bethany21 bethany21 9 years
3M/M3/MMM/what do you prefer?- Good luck on the GMAT! Scary stuff. Lilkimbo- Well said. All of it, actually. ;) I am concerned about any candidate with super close ties to lobbyists, so I think that part of the story is important for the American people to know. But the NYT's seemingly unsubstantiated romance story reeks of rumor (and poor journalism). What a long article, too, for so little payoff! I was really hoping for something a little more scandalicious!
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
MMM, I do agree with you on this. Mostly, at least. I just thought it was being overlooked in the discussion. I'm done now. I think.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
I think The Times is a poor excuse of it's former self. I even wrote a blog post about it. So even if I am a Obama supporter, it doesn't mean that we all eat it up like a bunch of .. pigs. Hungry birds? Well, you all know what I mean. But McCain is running on this issue at hand, being against the whole lobbyist system, so it would be rather peculiar if any part of it is true. I don't care if he cheated on his wife, a right winged evangelical voter might, but I don't. But it is a fact(unless some McCain people are lying) that measures were taken because of this woman, and there were concerns about what she was saying round and about town. For you who say 8 years is a long time; Yes it is. But I don't know if 8 years is such a long time when you are 72 years old. It's like when Hillary found her voice in New Hampshire. With all this experience you would think they would have figured it out by now.
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
Exactly Geo.
esk4 esk4 9 years
exactly geohiker, I mean after all JFK slept with more women than we will ever know about and took drugs while in office, but hey he was still a "great president" right
mymellowman mymellowman 9 years
"mmm, can you also clarify the part where she said: "I mean I personally would rather have a cheater then a drug addict running the country."" - I believe she can clarify herself, but I would be happy to (I'm sure she'll object if I mis-represent): That was a sarcastic representation of how distorted these two events are in relation to what is actually at hand here. If I can define anything else for you slim, just you let me know :wink:
geohiker geohiker 9 years
really, who cares? it's not any of our business if other people are having affairs. unless I see a real research study showing that people having affairs are more likely to do a bad job in their workplace, I just don't care about people's private business.
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