July 21st, 2008
02:19 PM ET
13 years ago

New York Times rejects McCain: The e-mail

Here is New York Times Opinion Page Editor David Shipley's full e-mail to the McCain campaign detailing why the paper rejected the Arizona senator's essay.

Read the e-mail after the jump

Dear Mr. Goldfarb,

Thank you for sending me Senator McCain's essay.

I'd be very eager to publish the Senator on the Op-Ed page.

However, I'm not going to be able to accept this piece as currently

I'd be pleased, though, to look at another draft.

Let me suggest an approach.

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. To that end, the article would have to articulate,
in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would
also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory - with troops
levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And
it would need to describe the Senator's Afghanistan strategy, spelling out
how it meshes with his Iraq plan.

I am going to be out of the office next week. If you decide to re-work the
draft, please be in touch with (Redacted)

Again, thank you for taking the time to send me the Senator's draft. I
really hope we can find a way to bring this to a happy resolution.


David Shipley

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Sam


    July 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is an editor saying that revisions need to be done. If there was a perscribed language style or subject content initally requested, then I can understand the upset that the McCain campaign has. If this was sent in without any kind of request, then the McCain campaign needs to work within the NYT guidelines however crazy (or not) the rules might be.

    To be honest, I would like to hear about McCain's definition of victory in Iraq. My set of goals that would make clear to me that total victory in Iraq has been achived are quite lengthy. Obviously the first would be that Iraq could defend itself from problems (foreign and domestic); there is a recognized set of law that all follow and all can be prosecuted under; universal human rights are observed; oil revenue is equally shared and used to better the country as a whole. The real test would be something alongs the lines of some problem that the courts have to deal with and all people respect the ruling no matter how they feel about it (ex: Bush vs. Gore in 2000 or Brown vs. Board of Education).

    July 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Laura

    What happened to free speech? I am a dem but am annoyed that the NYT wouldn't allow a Presidental candidate to express his own views.

    Why not allow the people to read Senator McCain's words and decide for themselves whether he has a credible plan or doesn't.

    I also find it curious that the editor would want him to "mirror" Senator Obama's story. Why? If they don't believe the same thing on any subject then why would he want to "mirror" Senator Obama?

    July 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Not sleeping at the switch

    And all of the McCain people will STILL call this BIAS. Asking for information, the SAME information that Obama contributed and they will still see this as unfair.

    These people do not care about details or if anything is a straight out lie. They just want McCain to win so they can keep on with their lives and not change anything.

    Fair and equal has no place in the GOP

    July 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    McWar just got an “F” on his geography report on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its ok, he will do better on his next report. I hear he is going to hire a tutor from the hooked on chronic and phonics learning center.

    July 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Tony

    Dear 5th grader!

    I'll bet you know that John should have used THAN insted of THEN!

    July 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. beacon1601

    Does Candy Crowley read your website? Apart from her usually empty reports (that have already been reported many times elsewhere), last night she riffed on a Gallup poll that showed no difference between Obama and McCain. I went right to http://www.realclearpolitics.com and found that that wasn't true. In her defense it did say that the poll was more than a week old.

    Today you report Gallup has Obama 6 points ahead–47 to 41. Candy wake up or retire.

    July 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. R

    "I am going to be out of the office next week. If you decide to re-work the
    draft, please be in touch with"

    that is too funny 😀

    July 21, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Peter

    Falling revenue, diminishing ad rates, unprecedented staff layoffs, Jayson Blair, Judith Miller...the past 4 years in Iraq are going better than the past 4 years at the NYT. We should demand a time table on when this fish wrapper will be done.

    July 21, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Rob

    I don't think this is Liberal bias as much as the NYT being concerned about its own reputation. It must be objective about what it prints; if it isn't news worthy, its reputation will suffer. The NYT is a business, not a vehicle for public service announcements, and it can't prioritize a politician over its brand.

    July 21, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Texas

    Wow, it's amazing that people completely ignore all of the facts listed in McCain's speech.

    If Obama lies, which he does on a daily basis, then Republicans should point it out. If Obama flip flops, which he does on a daily basis, people should point it out.

    Oh I forgot, we can't mention that:
    Obama has 300 advisors because he is too inexperienced.
    Obama opposed the surge and declared defeat in Iraq.
    Obama went to a racist church for 20 years, defended his pastor, then sold him out when his numbers were slipping.
    Hamas and Iran both strongly support Obama.

    Obama, the next Jimmy Carter.
    Get ready for change, a change for the worse.

    July 21, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Jeff

    I'm not a fan of John McCain or Obama, but par for the course, the NYT is giving Obama free PR and not affording the same consideration to Senator McCain. This is so biased as to be laughable. The NYT has become, like CNN, a PR vehicle for the Obama campaign. I guess if these news outlets wish to operate for the Democrats the way Fox news does for the Republicans its up to them, but it's a shame that we Democrats need to stoop to their level. We can no longer claim the moral high ground.

    July 21, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. bridgette

    Wow. I read his piece and it's nothing new but they could have put it in that paper. I think he thinks if you are constantly negative that makes you look better but it does not. What it shows is that he has no ideas. No one on his team has anything new too add or say.

    July 21, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. mb

    I thought mr cain had a solid plan to stay in iraq or so i thought when he said.....100 years in Iraq "would be fine with me".......Maybe he will give us more insight into how this easy feat can be achieved without driving motherland to bankruptcy a bit more in detail!

    July 21, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. Kristen

    LOL...LOL...I too would like to know how McCain define victory. Great question

    BARACK THE VOTE 2008!!!

    July 21, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. tim

    I have seen so many comments about this saying that it is a violation of the 1st Amendment or what happened to freedom of the press. Well this is exactly what the first amendment is for and why we have freedom of the press. The NYT was able to reject his editorial BECAUSE we have freedom of the press. Freedom of the press means not only that they can publish what they want to, but also that they can chose not to publish what they do not want to. Without freedom of the press, McCain or any other politician could force the NYT to publish his article. Does that mean this is unbaised reporting on the part of the NYT, maybe not, but it is not a violation of the 1st amendment or freedom of the press as so many have attempted to claim. Debate the issue for what it could be, which is biased reporting. Even there I don't think it is, they aren't telling McCain what opinion he has to take, just saying, tell us what your plan is instead of bad-mouthing the other guy.

    July 21, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Julien_From France

    lollllllllllll this is so funny.

    the team of mc cain is not able to write a proper essay, by the way may be he did it on his own.

    That's why the magazine says that he wrote an essay but forgot to answer the most important questions.

    the GOP doesn't stop to amaze me,

    By the way this is what Mc cain has written:

    Dear sir, madam

    I john mc cain want to apologize to give you my essay at this time. I know that senator barack hussein obama has given you his essay a long time ago but no one help to do it. So I did it on my own.
    The essay speak about a prince (the Us) who want to save the princess (Iraq). However to save her from the evil he need to fight during a 100 years. And after he we will live happy without any more war. It will be a success because the war in Iraq will be finish and in Afghanistan as well.

    I hope that I answer all of your questions...

    Do you love my essay? If you have further questions please don't hesitate to contact me

    Yours sincerely

    John mc cain

    July 21, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. Tony

    Maybe his "Stepford wife" can buy the NYTimes and get Johnny's essay printed!

    July 21, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. Marc PDX

    I am only surprised that the NYT stopped short of telling McCain how to define victory and what his policies were to be... preferably mirrored after Obama's no doubt.

    If McCain's article was so bad wouldn't it have spoken for itself (as bad)? Therefore, why not print it and let McCain hang himself if that's the case? Maybe because the NYT has already made an editorial decision to do whatever they can to promote Obama's campaign... as they did against Hillary Clinton.

    July 21, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Real Change

    While the right-wingers scream and yell about media bias, it's funny to remember that they themselves have been asking the media to press Obama on specifics.

    July 21, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    It appears the NYT and the rest of the media have now sold out to the dumbama campaign. Let the coronation begin.

    July 21, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. Aaron

    Finally!!! Could it be that the sleeping giant has actually awoke? Will we actually have a critical press for this historic and crucially important election? A press that expects the candidates to be candid about their policies instead of just reporting their blah blah blah? We need the real press to navigate through all the Fox News/Swift Boat trash that usually gets reported as reality by the media. Please let this be a sign that the fear-mongering by criminals wrapped in the American will not fly this time. Press, do your job! We've missed you! Welcome back!

    July 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. No Longer Amused, Las Vegas

    "John Griswell July 21st, 2008 3:22 pm ET

    TLTR version:

    Dear 5th grader. You need more then negative attacks to have an opinion on Iraq.


    I agree with the concept, but maybe you should have grammar checked this before you called someone else a 5th grader.


    July 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Seyi, AU

    Obviously, the Repubs will take this the wrong way and call it biased, even if it is, they NYT aren't the only ones demanding a clear position and plan, the AMERICAN PEOPLE DO IT. But instead of complaining of media bias, why don't you answer the demands, I think the American people deserve better than just criticism, state what you stand AND a precise plan.
    You will notice that every repub comment on this blog is just bashing and screaming out bias, without actually admitting there's something seriously wrong with McCain's article. If critique say you're dumb, get smart and try again! Don't just cry out bias, it only makes you look dumber.

    July 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. vicki

    Congratulations NY Times for your WONDERFUL job!!!!.

    And especially to your Editor David Shipley for rejecting McCain’s constant attack on Barack Obama. McCain forgetting that this IS 21 century and his constant attack without solution will NOT work this time.

    Barack has a wonderful judgment and is right on all issues Iran / Iraq / Afghanistan, economy, education, energy.

    July 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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