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. Eleonor

    Bubba writes: ........ Republicans are a horny lot, aren't they?

    and Democrats are not? remember John F. Kennedy? yup, the same inspiration leader who obama is compare too?

    human beings are human beings, no matter what kind of job they do, NOBODY is completely righteous no, not even obama or oprah


    February 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Joey


    Take a look for a surprise that may be waiting in the wings especially if Nader is mixed in the bunch…
    YOUTUBE – Obama limo party for information on recent story

    Go Obama/08

    February 22, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Meg

    Most News papers and TV stations have bias towards a party, get over it. Democrats have the support of The New York Times, Republicans get Fox News. Of course The New york Times are held more accountable because it is run my more intelligent people, um... come to think of it so is the democratic party.

    February 22, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Caroline

    Oh please, that's been pretty well known for quite some time now...

    And does it really matter anyway? Fox News targets Democrats.

    February 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Michael

    When Ron Paul was under attack by every media outlet, did anyone speak up? No. The only reason the "white house" is defending McCain is because he's a Bush & Co Goon. McCain = Bush.

    It's that simple.

    February 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. PCS / North Carolina

    Gorbashov, Long Beach, Ca. wrote February 22nd, 2008 12:53 pm ET

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

    You are absolutly right. !! Specially Bill O'Reily and Shawn, they strew up so much animosity along reliegious, ethnic party lines (Flase claimes of rape inside the NO Superdome during Katrina), it is disgusting.

    February 22, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Brad

    Yes Mr. Stanzel, it's as if, suddenly, maybe by an act of God, and after 11 years of Bushes and 16 years of Clintons, the White House has credibility on this or any other subject.

    February 22, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. aaron, minneapolis mn

    Good for the NYTimes. McCain smells of stink.

    February 22, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Marty

    I think the White House, whose staff represents all of the United States and not just Republicans whether they like it or not, should stay out of the campaign.

    February 22, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. California Independent

    The liberal New York Times targets a Republican. I'm shocked! I'm appalled, disgusted, outraged..... bored.

    February 22, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Michelle in Des Moines

    I think NEWS papers should report NEWS, color me silly. Two unnamed sources, BOTH parties deny the affair, does not sound like news to me. High school gossip, yes.. news no. What are they going to write next, how Hillarys' hair cut makes her look older?

    February 22, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    The staff set up the meeting Sen McCain had the meeting, What ever they talk about unless you were there you don't know. But still bad timeing for Sen McCain

    February 22, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. JOHN




    February 22, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Jim, Burlington

    Fox News = Fuax News = shill for the White House and the idiot frat boys in charge.

    Nothing credable here – thank god there is less than a year left with the moron in charge and his band of evil.

    February 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Preston Winters

    First of all, McCain is not "the Republican nominee". Second, the NYT has (for better or worse) endorsed him. Finally, it is comical that the White House should be complaining about the one newspaper which has the distinction of having done more than any other publication to induce otherwise skeptical people to support President Bush's invasion of Iraq, thanks primarily to the breathless, irresponsible reporting by Judith Miller.

    February 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Phyllis, Dallas TX

    So because it's McCain the NYT shouldn't look into something that looked to a lot of other people like an impropriety? He should get no special treatment.

    If Sen. Obama was hanging around with an aid or lobbyist the NYT and the GOP would be all over it.

    Plus, McCain's first marriage ended because of him sleeping around.

    Remember, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...... it's usually a duck.

    February 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Phil of Colorado

    Shame on the management of the New York Times that has taken a well-respected institution and turned it into a biased political rag.

    February 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  18. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    McKain's lots of time in the senate = lots of dirt. What will bring addtional disrepute to Senator Wallmart Greeter is the hypocrisy that is becoming his public mantra.

    February 22, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. Dan, NJ

    The NYT really should get the integrity of Fox News.

    February 22, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Bob wilkinson

    Yep, the times went to far-I'm repulsed by tar and feather reporting. However-I'm araid we'r stuck with it until republicans regognize that reporting (if you can call it that) by Fox New is at least 100 times as toxic as any thing the Times has ever published. Mc'cain are you disapointed enough in this unfair reporting to comment on unfair reporting as awhole and mention Mr. Murdochs' Fox News ? They don't like you anyway. Oh I'm sure the tune is changeing now that they have something they can point at as biaed reporting not to mention you, the republican front runner, So-while you'er complaining about biased and untruful reporting why not make it a campainge issue and point at all ofences by all the media. You claim to have courage, show us.

    February 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Liz

    Dear Mr. President,

    Can we get back to immigration reform....like REALLY fast?

    A 23-year-old illegal alien who had no idea how to drive ran a stop sign, causing a crash with a school bus and pickup truck.

    Four kids were killed, many others injured.

    Her alibi didn't have a drivers license. She worked under this name. This is the second reckless driving accident under this name. The other time she crashed into someone's home.



    February 22, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Bubba

    Proud Texan, you read the Times enough to keep track of bias in articles? You must be retired and sitting around bored. I just read the local papers and watch tv and surf the internet, but I haven't accumulated enough data to analyze their politics (except to say that my local paper hates Democrats and finds GOP butt kissing sweet). I'm afraid you're just repeating what you heard someone else say when you say the Times cares nothing for the truth and has a habit of printing factless, biased stories about conservative candidates.

    Too much careless use of 'facts everyone knows' here, like 'everyone knows' Hillary is cold and 'everyone knows' McCain cheated on his wife, well, he did, I mean cheated on his second wife. In fact we only know what we read, and it's all biased crap.

    February 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. Rob

    The Bush White House's opinions on anything are irrelevant. This is a group of people with no concept of truth or honor. Every member of this administration should be placed under a federal gag order until they begin testifying under oath. The GOP has no room to complain about anything, as they seem to have forgotten they were elected to represent the citizens of the country, not Wall Street & its CEOs

    February 22, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. Geoff, NH

    Who cares if they attack the party? Plenty of more conservative news organizations attack the Dems all the time. It keeps the people looking at the politicians critically, which is a good thing, seeing as most members of both parties are as crooked as scoliosis

    February 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. David Jones

    i think there may be truth in the story....NYT did what they are supposed to and the onus is now on McCain to clear his name.

    the private jets
    the letters to FEC on behalf of ms. Iseman's clients
    the close relationship to ms. Iseman

    when the truth eventually comes out, Bill Clinton will sound more believable than McCain!

    can't wait!!!!

    February 22, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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