02/21/08 — McCain flap: There’s more to come, but this time, it sounds fishy

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McCain flap: There’s more to come, but this time, it sounds fishy

The morning scramble today regarding John McCain’s reported inappropriate conduct with a lobbyist could be a glimpse at what could be a very long campaign.

The New York Times reported the allegations, which it admits were based on information provided, in part, by unnamed, disgruntled former staffers.

Hmmm. OK, well, maybe. Unnamed sources are sometimes necessary in reporting, especially if there is some great risk to the person supplying the information. But what was the danger here? Seems like there should have been a way to be on much firmer ground before publishing such a story.

But even that is not as curious as one other small fact — The New York Times endorsed John McCain.

Stories like this one do not just happen. They are researched for weeks and months.

If there was some ethics question, why in the world did the paper choose to endorse McCain?

Presidential campaigns are by nature distasteful business. They tend to include back-biting, innuendo and all sorts of “stories” masquerading as news.

McCain might have something to answer for here. The only way to tell is by continuing to look into the evidence, not to find more anecdotes.

As primaries end and the real campaign begins, most of the rest of us are going to have to be prepared to hold every piece of information up to a magnifying glass.

This one just doesn’t seem to have legs.

We will have to wait and see if there is more to know.

Published in Editorials on February 21, 2008 12:57 PM