July 21st, 2008
03:20 PM ET
14 years ago

New York Times rejects McCain essay

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/21/art.nytimes.ap.jpg caption="The New York Times rejected an editorial written by John McCain."]

(CNN) - The New York Times has rejected an op-ed piece written by John McCain defending his Iraq war policy in response to a piece by Barack Obama published in the paper last week.

Read the rejected op-ed

In an e-mail to the McCain campaign, Opinion Page Editor David Shipley said he could not accept the piece as written, but would be “pleased, though, to look at another draft.”

“Let me suggest an approach,” he wrote. “The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans. It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece.”

McCain’s rejected op-ed had been a lengthy critique of Obama’s positions on Iraq policy, particularly his view of the surge. “Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history,” wrote McCain, criticizing Obama’s call for an early withdrawal timeline. “I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner prematurely.”

Obama’s July 14 essay had taken shots at McCain for not further encouraging the Iraqi government to take control of the country.

Full story

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. E.C.Coleman

    Does this surprise anyone at all? The New York Times........the Left Wing Radical Arm of CNN News rejecting an editorial by Senator McCain? These folks have just announced to the WORLD that they are the Most Biased and Unfair, Media outlet in business. AND WHO CARES? HOW CLOSET RADICAL OF THE NEW YORK TIMES AND A MIRROR IMAGE OF BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, THE NEW KNOW IT ALL OF THE MID EAST. How pitiful and how sad of the NYT. Fire the Editor.

    July 21, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. Barbara Gooch

    How journalism plays politics is wrong, just print what you need to from both candidated, if it were Obama saying the same thing would you print it, I bet you would. It doesn,t matter weather you print McCain's script or not, he will be the next President, all the American people are not crazy.

    July 21, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Ken in INdy

    Mike, Syracuse, NY:

    Actually, it's not an abuse of the First Amendment. That amendment protects against GOVERNMENT infringement of a citizen's rights guaranteed under that amendment. The New York Times is a private business that has the right to decide what it does and does not print. Just like "Fox Noise" has the right to decide what it reports and, most unfortunately, how it reports. The bottom line is McCain needs to have his feet held to the fire. He needs to provide what he feels is a solution. It doesn't do him much good to just throw stones at Obama when he has offered nothing substantive on his part.

    July 21, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Callan

    I'm an Obama supporter, and we all know the New York Times has a liberal slant, but this is out of line.

    They should be presenting both candidates' viewpoints in an equal and unbiased manner.

    July 21, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Republican who loves OBAMA

    Finally, someone holding McCain to task! I wanted to vote for McCain, but I don't know where he stands, or if he even knows where he stands! Age doesn't have anything to do with it, he simply has no idea what he is talking about! His campaign and surrogates have to constantly whisper in his ear to REMIND him of previous statements he has made. I watch his town halls to have an open mind about this election, but all he does is attack Obama's plan, w/o giving specifics about HIS plans. I need a president that offers solutions whether they will work or not, and who listens to and calls upon the American people to work with him to restore this great nation. I am not hearing that from McCain, and I don't think I ever will, that's why as a long time Republican, I will be voting for a Democrat this November. My conscience simply won't allow me to sit back and watch McCain start WW3!!

    OBAMA '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. T Harris

    It is ok for that useless Obama to have freedom of speech but not Mc Cain. It is quite obvious the media wants to have Obama elected. What a tragedy for America!! If Obama gets more expereince than maybe so.

    July 21, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Jann, Denver CO

    If McCains editorial is anything like his dry, boring speeches I would not print them either.

    July 21, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Sam, Menlo Park

    Just like when he refused to try and escape – AS IT WAS HIS DUTY TO DO – McCain is showing his cowardly side by attacking someone else instead of coming up with a plan of his own and defending THAT.

    July 21, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Marguerite, NYC

    Maybe McSame wants to write about the Iraq Pakistan border? He not only has the same policies as Bush (well sometimes now that the Bush admin seems to be following Obama's lead), but he has as much knowledge as Bush as well

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Mike

    All major media outlets should demand to know what McCain's definition of "Victory in Iraq" is. They have been letting the current administration slide for so long without demanding a definition from them.

    McCain claims we are already victorious.

    "Mission Accomplished" was declared years ago.

    Yet, he thinks we need to keep fighting in Iraq?

    Republicans have a very vague notion of what "victory" is, and it seems to change from day to day.

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. ali

    mccain doesnt sell news.he distracts from it with bs.

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. ryan

    Those who defend this decision obviously care not about integrity in journalism or intelligent debate.

    Liberals and conservatives are ruining this country. Their fanaticism has caused what should be sober minded persons in areas which used to be respected for integrity and fairmindedness, into bastions of hypocrisy.

    No more can any liberal or conservative claim to be superior to the other. They are all the same.

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. Aaron from Seattle

    Ok 2 things:
    First – An editor has the right to print or not print whatever he or she chooses. It's the reason there is such a job, to filter out erronious, or otherwise fluff articles.

    Second – If all McCain was going to do was gripe about Obama and not offer a concrete plan for our troops, the Iraq war, or the on-going conflict in Afghanistan than there really was no point to printing the article anyway since it probably didn't offer any insight other than more personal attacks. At least Obama has made points and is developing strategies, and puts forth these strategies for the public to review, where all McCain has spouted is the same ol' "stay the course."

    New York Times editor, I solute you!

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Alan Boyer

    Using McCain's logic: Start a war of choice. Endure thousands of deaths. Spend billions of dollars. Start a surge. Lose more lives. Spend billions more. And somehow we have succeeded. Yes, we have succeeded in cleaning up the mess we never should have started. How many times can you win a war? Remember Mission Accomplished?

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Dave

    The New York Times has clearly revealed its bias in this presidential campaign, as if there was any question before. I am a Democrat, but also a recovering journalist. Such blatant disregard of the need for balance on its editorial pages reflects poorly on those at the NY Times who still advocate for fair and balanced coverage of political campaigns.

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. chris

    Can't say I'm comfortable with the NY Times giving Obama an open forum and rejecting McCain. As with all Elections, this is very important and all americans should pay attention and become as informed as possible.

    Additionally; I find many of these comments that readers posted very disheartening. When did we become such a hateful country? I'm not a fan of this President, but he is our leader and we're all Americans....like it or not.

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  17. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Typical Republican 'editorial'... try to tear down the other person and their plans, reject facts, spin-doctor anything you don't like, and again, reject facts, without providing any of your own. No wonder McClone is such a horrible candidate... he comes from a horrible party.

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Tom

    As a regular reader of the New York Times I think McCain shouldn't be censored and nor do I think he should have to self-censor himself as Mr. Shipley is obviously suggesting. Everyone knows the New York Times supports Obama. I'm fine with that and read the newspaper because of it's front-page reporting and not it's editorial page. Nonetheless, if it wants to be a part of the Obama campaign it should register with the Federal Election Committee and be subject to campaign finance laws. Even though it's a newspaper run by a corporation if it wants to give free advertising to a candidate that candidate should report it's value as a gift. In my view, the gift from the New York Times to Obama is probably worth several million dollars in which case several election laws were probably violated and the Times should be investigated for that.

    July 21, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Brad Morse

    I am so tired of all the media hipe over Obama. They are not giving McCain same coverage so he can articulate his veiws. I must say even if I wanted to vote for Obama I would not because the media is so unfair...maybe I just need to watch FOX.

    July 21, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Country Over Party

    I am stunned that those who support Obama would not want balance in this election...and its coverage. And I say this is a Democrat who does not support McCain or any other Republican.

    But now I remember: that is exactly what you COUNTED on during the Primary, in order to get Obama nominated. No dissidence, right? *With us or against us.* Boy, does that sound familiar.

    You are all beginning to scare me a bit...

    July 21, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Otanes - Atlanta

    Hey McCain, you want to be a “change I can believe in”, then tell me why I should vote for you instead of why I should NOT vote for Obama!

    July 21, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. Tom Jones

    So much for free speech. I guess it's either the New York Times version or not at all!

    July 21, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. RAC

    More people will end up reading this piece on the Drudge report than if the NYT had published it.

    July 21, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Scott

    From "An American" (?) – Get over yourself, McCain, and start telling us exactly what you plan on doing. From where I sit, your only plan is telling us what you think is wrong with Obama's plan.

    I would like to hear details...even the SLIGHTEST detail of any sort from Obama...not just more, overplayed, worn-out rhetoric about hope, change, blah, blah, blah.....

    Obama has NO DETAILS because he has NO PLAN .....just rhetoric and catch-phrases.

    July 21, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. Andrew, NO

    it's not too much to ask for a candidate to write a short essay that concerns itself with NEWSWORTHY policy debate rather than attacks and overused political talking points. Obama's piece had details and new information, McCain's lacks both and is not worth a page in the NYT.

    July 21, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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