December 31st, 2008
01:17 PM ET
5 years ago

Lobbyist linked to McCain sues NY Times

 Vicki Iseman is suing editors and reporters at the New York Times who worked on a story about her and Sen. McCain.
Vicki Iseman is suing editors and reporters at the New York Times who worked on a story about her and Sen. McCain.

(CNN) - A lobbyist who was romantically linked to Sen. John McCain in a New York Times article has sued the paper for $27 million, saying the story has damaged her career and "sense of personal self-worth."

Vicki Iseman sued the New York Times Company and writers and editors who worked on the front-page story, which she said falsely intimated she had an affair with the senator and used their relationship to gain perks for her clients.

"The damage to Ms. Iseman caused by the story has continued to the present and has not abated," the lawsuit said. "The article destroyed the heart and soul of Ms. Iseman's professional identity and sense of personal self-worth."

The Times issued a statement saying it stands by the story, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The lawsuit charges that The New York Times acted with negligence and malice in publishing the article, having "utterly failed to find evidence supporting their preconceived hypothesis that Sen. McCain and Ms. Iseman had a romantic relationship."

The lengthy report, which ran February 21, said McCain aides became so concerned about the relationship between the two that they blocked her access to the senator during his first campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

The lawsuit details comments that reporters and editors from other media outlets made about the story in which they said the Times implied an inappropriate or romantic relationship.

Full story


Filed under: John McCain • New York Times
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. WE shall overcome

    I would sue just because McCain is old,pale and wrinkly!

    December 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Charles from Atlanta

    Lawyers are always amazing. The suit is not about her reputation, it is about her "sense of personal self-worth". I think NYT definitely need a group of good lawyers to defend this case.

    December 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Jeffer65

    I can understand her sueing the NYT, but $27 mil is excessive.

    December 31, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Newport News, VA

    She won't get a dime. Kick rocks lady!

    December 31, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    It should come as no shock that mcCain would cheat on a wife…he did it to the lady who waited out his POW time….Now that's a real man!
    --------------
    He never cheated, he left his wife first. You left wing nuts need to get some facts...I mean come on, speaking one fact a year isn't going to kill you.

    December 31, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Juana W., Houston

    Everybody had already forgotten that incident. It is so old so lame and without any logical supporting fact by Ms. Iseman.

    If I remember correctly, the NYT never suggested any sort of romantic relationship between this lady V. Iseman and Senator McCain. What it was stated by the paper was her proximity to the Senator and the connections and favors that could derive from such a close relationship.

    Now, it appears that Ms. Iseman is trying to get a financial benefit from that connection; and that is the only valid reason she brought up the topic again. Everybody had already forgotten about her "business relationships and clients."

    December 31, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Bob

    The New York Times is a joke of a paper. It's as simple as that. I consider them in the same category as the Enquirer.

    As to how papers work, there's an older movie called "Absence of Malice" with Paul Newman and Sally Field, and it just about perfectly describes the lack of integrity so prevalent in journalism.

    December 31, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    No matter what newspaper the story came from, if someone (man or woman) cheats WITH you, he/she will also cheat ON you
    ------------------
    When did McCain cheat, it's a well known fact that he LEFT his wife when he started teh relationship. You have no facts, then again libs enver have facts they don't seem to need them.

    December 31, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. bluebird

    Boy, I hope she nails them and tanks that failure of journalist interifty once and for all. As a lawyer, I'd take that case.

    December 31, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Dan from Philly

    I'd tap that. ;-)

    Love the hysterical vitriol directed at the NYT from boneheads that think Rush Windbag is a 'journalist' and Fox News is 'fair and balanced'. You folks need your heads examined.

    December 31, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Juan Grain

    She needs to eat some greens.

    December 31, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Texas Teacher

    True or not.... that is the McCain type of politics... we saw it all through the campaign. So in one way or another, one can only say.... "if the truth hurts, let it hurt." At some time or other in our lives, we all have to come to grips with that old saying.

    December 31, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. J.P.

    It's pretty bad when the National Enquirer scoops the vaunted Grey Lady... but then again, avoiding being scooped would actually require NYT journalists to actually GET OFF THEIR BUTTS AND INVESTIGATE A STORY... (cough cough John Edwards baby-daddy cough cough).

    With "motivated journalists" like this, Watergate would have never been uncovered and Nixon would have gotten away unscathed.

    As for this McCain "scandal," why let facts stand in the way of a good story, eh? ...especially when it aides the MSM's push to install the first minority president. The Sixties are over, hippies, can we all get past race now?

    December 31, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Franky

    "I didn't think the article had substance, personally. This woman probably has a good case. But the NYT is still the best paper in country."

    I'm gonna tell you right now, she is not going to win. No editor or writers are gonna write false stories without their sources. If there is some false information, then maybe but based on what I'm hearing, just because this woman's feelings got hurt she suing the Newspaper. And I don't even read the Times for crying out loud, let alone, I don't even read newspapers, LOL!!

    If she did had an affair, then I don't know what she's going to fight about...

    December 31, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. J.P.

    Hippies... for the last time... Billy the Sexual Predator was NOT impeached over sex... it was because he lied under oath in a grand jury investigation. ie the whole "high crimes" thing.

    If he lied about his weight or eye color, it's still a lie... and if it's under oath, he committed an impeachable offense. Sorry, I didn't write the laws, I just insist they be enforced.

    December 31, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Texas Teacher

    Change Left... tsk tsk... I guess you were living under a rock through the last campaign!

    That is all McCain... and especially Palin did through their campaigning. Seriously.... you have been spending WAY too much time listening to Limbaugh and Fox News. You are OUT of touch with reality, my poor dear!.

    We the People voted for Obama to get away from the Republican style of politics.... as well as the Limbaugh/Fox News type of media mentality! Face it, 75% of All Americans are ready for the Republican Smear type tactics to end... ready to usher out G.W. Bush and Company! And that goes for both parties! Obama is the beginning of the change... and all I can say if, praise God!

    Change is a comin'...... fasten your seat belt and get ready for the ride... or risk being left along the way with the Republican style of politics.... that good ole boy, ole time politics is on the WAY OUT!
    Get on the wagon... or get run over at the GATE! :)

    December 31, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Texas Teacher

    Wendy.... yep.... the Repubs did everything but burn Clinton on the White House lawn....hoods and all! All those years... all our tax dollars..... Seriously... to prove the man was unfaithful to his wife! And through that whole witch hunt, Clinton left the country in good shape... not like Bush who has raped the nation in the name of making he and his cronies richer than they already were!

    Only 20 more days until it is over... and we can begin to climb out of this hole the Repubs have dug us into. Obama is change.... that we need desparately!

    December 31, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. LAUR

    I suspect NYT will seek to settle. We'll find out how angry this gal is if she insists on going to court or refuses a settlement that includes a non-disclosure clause.

    She swears in the complaint that she never had a romantic or sexual relationship with McCain. If that is a lie, she is making a false statement to the court and could go to jail. Why would she take that risk? This is an aggressive, well argued suit, which is generally a stance people take when they feel truly wronged, not when they are just angling for advantage. I think the worst possible plaintiff to face must be a smart person with financial means who feels truly wronged. That is what the NYT has in this lobbiest. Can't say I blame her.

    She has a lot going for her, including a lot of very revealing comments by NYT editors, including their public editor, who questioned whether this story should have been published.

    When I read the complaint, my first conclusion is that this will certainly spell the end of the so-called 'public editor' function at newspapers. That is the guy who comments on the newspaper's coverage, supposedly from a neutral third-party pov. A lot of the big papers have toyed with this idea on and off. But if I were a newspaper public editor, or ombudsman or whatever they call it, I'd be looking hard for a job right now, as I predict no paper will continue such a post after their lawyers read this complaint. The NYT's public editor potentially worsened the paper's liability position.

    December 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Rorschach

    Sure is easy to pick out the Limbaugh audience in here...

    Rush: "The NY Times is bad."

    Sheep: "Ditto! Times Bad! Rush Good!"

    Rush: "Good sheep."

    December 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Texas Teacher

    Oh, poor lobbyist.... you mean no one wants to take her contributions to their cause in order to support her Big Business Company? No one wants paid vacations to exotic islands... or weekends at well...anywhere expensive? My heart bleeds for this poor woman. Hel.... I mean heck... she might have to get a real job! :)

    December 31, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Seattle Sue

    Where there's smoke, there is usually fire. I don't know about this lady but McCain has been known to dip his wick in foreign oil.

    December 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. Breck Girl

    Why didn't the NY Times aggressively investigate and report on Edwards' adulterous affair, cheating on his cancer-stricken wife?

    If you're going to be a tabloid, at least be an unbiased one.

    December 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. W.T. Odom

    New York Times,
    Just pay the lady...Spread the Wealth...Clip another column from your daily paper...Down to five yet? Fifth Column....Hmmm!
    Why don't you just purchase some carbon units from Al A Gore'? You owe the world some carbon units for that B.S. about Obama's support.
    We all have been brainwashed by a different set of professors....Wade

    December 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Eddie Baker

    She does resemble Cindy Mc Cain so I`m inot really sure that story is incorrect ?????

    December 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Wade Odom

    Texas Teacher:
    What makes you think the Repubs put that Monica Coverup crap in the Media? It was to cover up the action in Los Alamos, N.M . Remember the Chinese Military with the computors and free entrance to the labs...? Huh? Where was Billy when 9-11 happened..? Huh?
    Why did Bagman Brown's plane hit a mountain..? Huh? Wade

    December 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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