February 22nd, 2008
11:15 AM ET
10 years ago

White House: The New York Times targets the GOP

White House Scott Stanzel in a file photo.

White House Scott Stanzel in a file photo.

(CNN) - The White House took aim at the New York Times Friday over its investigation of presidential candidate John McCain, with a spokesman telling reporters the paper unfairly targets Republicans.

“I think a lot of people here in this building with experience in a couple of campaigns have grown accustomed to the fact that during the course of the campaign - about seemingly on maybe a monthly basis leading up to the convention, maybe a weekly basis after that - the New York Times does try to drop a bombshell on the Republican nominee,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel.

“And that is something that the Republican nominee has faced in the past, and probably will face in this campaign. And sometimes they make incredible leaps to try to drop those bombshells on the Republican nominee,” he said.

Stanzel said that the White House would not comment on the specifics of the story, but considered what they felt to be the paper’s uneven approach to covering GOP candidates to be a “fact of life.” He added that in his personal experience as a staffer involved with President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 presidential runs, that sentiment was widespread on both campaigns.

“I'm not saying they never give that kind of treatment [to a Democratic nominee]. But we see it pretty regular [in] treatment of the Republican nominee,” he said of the Times.

–CNN's Kathleen Koch contributed to this report

Filed under: John McCain • White House
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca.

    I didn't realize that Bill Clinton was a member of the GOP?

    Puh-lease. Enough of shooting the messenger. They do this to both parties.

    Now if you want to talk about journalistic bias................Faux (FOX) News anyone!?

    February 22, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. David

    Maybe the Times wouldn't target the Republicans so much if they didn't have such a disproportionate number of criminals. Excuse me, alleged criminals.

    February 22, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Justin

    You've got to be kidding me. They're whining about the Times? How about Valerie Plame, Scooty Libby, and the fact you attacked McCain over this as well.

    Pathetic scum.

    February 22, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Elaine Dansby

    I am just so very upset and dissolutioned about the negative campaigning that has been recklessly distributed about political candidates.

    I am a democrat, and I believe the New York Times was entirely out of line for trying to scandalize McCain, a republican. I am not for McCain, but that doesn't matter. What the "accusation" does is throw a cast of doubt about his character which in turn might take votes away from him. Even if they retract the accusation, it will not be removed or blocked out of our minds.

    The American people want credible information about all of the candidates, whether they be republican, democrats, independents, white, black, female, whatever. Credible information that will educate us regarding their abilities to run a country.

    Information regarding their "human mistakes" in life, especially mistakes that are several years old are not relevence to us.

    All media need to refrain from such inappropriate comments, remarks, etc about candidates.

    Thank you

    February 22, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Scott Austin, TX

    Hey White House, SHUT UP! Honestly, does anyone really care what opinions circulate from the White House?

    February 22, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. Mike USMC 95-99




    February 22, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. Darth Vadik, CA

    Its always the New York Times fault right, its never the crooked politicians?

    Except when the Bush administration used the NYT to stump for a war with Iraq.

    Get out of here, GOP deserves what they are getting and much more.

    February 22, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. Bob

    The Republican/ Karl Rove smear machine has destroyed so many people and they continue to use the same tactics and the continue to cry when someone bops them. Tom Delay said he didn't do anything wrong, Bill Frist said he didn't do anything wrong. We will probably see the reporters finally dig up the facts and watch Mr. McCain crumble too. These GOP pols think we, the people, are stupid. Take a better look fellows........we, the people have woken up.

    February 22, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Keith, GA

    yaaaaaawn. If you're a democrat you might read the NY Times. If you're a republican you most likely read WSJ. The NY Times at this point is about one step above a high school newspaper.

    February 22, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Raphael

    Dont' look now but another sNAKE GOP just got indicted..YOU GOP FOOLS HAVE NO PRAYER AGAINST HILLARY..

    February 22, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. Bill, Albany, NY

    Anyone that thinks the media is fair and balanced needs to good kick in the head. The only way to get true news is to read multiple sources.


    A proud Texan February 22nd, 2008 12:23 pm ET

    Duh…. anyone with half a brain (guess that excludes Democrats)

    ROFL someone from Texas is calling others dumb now that is funny


    Kathryn Irby February 22nd, 2008 12:28 pm ET

    Larry Flynt has "struck again"!

    Wow I didnt realize that Flynt was running for president. Whats the matter Kathryn still pissed that free speech won (Flynt and penthouse) won over religious tolitarianism (Falwell)?

    February 22, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Joey

    YOUTUBE – Obama Limo for information on recent post.

    Take a look for a surprise that may be waiting in the wings.

    February 22, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Al

    People seem to be saying FOX News does this to Democrats. Has anyone seen Fox's ratings compared to CNN's? They're blowing CNN out of the water. Fox must be doing something right.

    February 22, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Rod

    And Bush is the worst president we have ever had. If anything the NYT did not do a good enough job exposing our horrible horrible president.

    Have to say this is also something I totally agree with:
    This Administration has always attacked others for bringing attention to it's self serving agenda while it sets up and maintains smokescreens for it's misdeeds. Who cares what Bush has to say? He should be in prison.

    February 22, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Dr.Blount

    I think Sen.McCain needs to stop now" Guys this is the year for Change..08 OBAMA

    February 22, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. Rob Stumpf

    Waiting today for the Times to provide actual sources for their McCain story. And waiting. And waiting....! No, really? That's all they had?!

    Garbage journalism is the same no matter the target, liberal or conservative. It's not a matter of picking sides depending on your party registration, it's a matter of what's right and wrong. How can any fair person defend a story like this?

    February 22, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. David in New York

    Whenever a story is printed in the newspaper with these type of allegations, they are always true. McCain is GUILTY! He cheated on his disabled first wife, so why would voters not think him capable of cheating on his second wife? Romney was the only candidate with high moral values and the only one who never cheated on his one and only wife. McCain is finished! Romney 2012. I can't wait.

    February 22, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Rob Stumpf

    Some of these comments are incredible.

    Because of the existence of Fox News, that therefore means that the NY Times is free to lower journalism standards into the toilet? If that's the case, why should there be any standards at all?

    First liberals complain there is no media bias. Then they whine about Fox News. But of course, the reason Fox News stands out at all is because it's so different from older media outlets that are ALSO biased. All groups of human beings are going to have some bias or the other.

    This is not about the bias. It's about the low standards of journalism....they are not the same thing. You can have an agenda and still source a story, right?!

    February 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. warren

    This is one of the most corrupt adminstration in the 43 years of my life. Now all of sudden the media is treating them so unfair. Aww! And all the good you do (in your mind)!

    February 22, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Clare

    with very few honorable exceptions, i.e. Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper, CNN and all other media establishments have done a lousy job during this electoral campaign. There had always been some bias, but this time is bluntantly there.

    They found a media darling that sells them papers and doubleclicks so now after protecting him to post him as the democratic candidate, it is time now to attack McCain, early enough so he doesn't have a chance for the Presidential elections.

    Obama and his media court are in for a big surprise.

    ...and they claim not to play politics as usual

    February 22, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. Katya

    The GOP needs to be cleansed, seriously. I don't get it.

    Get rid of these clowns and get back to the principles, Republicans! You had a good thing going with the fiscal economic issues, return to that stat and in a decade or so you may get the chance to be electable once again.

    February 22, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Lee, Boston, MA

    @A proud texan:

    Duh…. anyone with half a brain (guess that excludes Republicans) knows that Fox habitually goes after liberals, usually without any proof. They could care less about reporting the truth– it's all about pushing their conservative agenda on the rest of us, and the sad part is, many Americans can't/won't see what's really happening.

    February 22, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. kathleen, illinois

    Oh well, the Republicans have been bamblasting perfectly
    great people much greater than any of them, for years.
    It is called evil politics with the Swiftboating ads. And
    in the name of the evangelicals.

    February 22, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Richard

    Hey White House person maybe the story is true about John McCain and the lady in question. We dont want McCain in the White House because it will be business as usual. Like G.W.Bush`s war for oil in Iraq. McCain will keep us there so they can try to take Iraq oil. Bush and his corporate cronies wanted this war, and they manipulated intelligence to get us there.

    February 22, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  25. Dee, Plano Texas



    February 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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