Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's Only Right When It's About the Left

I've read the much-discussed article on John McCain in today's New York Times. I even sent the link around to friends and family this morning because parts make for interesting reading, particularly the background paragraphs on McCain's "Keating Five" days.

Do I think the rumor of an affair between McCain and a lobbyist is worth publishing in the formerly hallowed pages of the Times, even when it's couched in the seemingly benign context of looking at the inside operations of a campaign? No. As a former journalist, I think it's tabloid stuff, just as I thought it was tabloid stuff to write about Gennifer Flowers in 1992 (though the context there was admittedly different).

I don't vote for politicians to be Husband of the United States or High Priest of the United States. Adultery is not a litmus test for my vote. I'm interested in their stands on several issues and on the policies they intend to implement in office.

I do get a chuckle out of Republicans being outraged by such a story, though. They never seem to mind when a Democrat is accused of sexual impropriety whether the accusations are right or wrong. When it's a Democrat such stories are the essential work of a diligent press corps because those articles supposedly reveal character. When it's a Republican it's an outrageous case of the allegedly liberal media committing slander.

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