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. Mike Jones

    Dear Mr. Editor, Montgomery Burns does not understand the internet.

    July 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    What a surprise from the Americam version of Pravda. The N.Y.T. is a self caricaturizing joke.

    July 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. PD Thomas

    Hilarious! Rather than complain, I don't think it is unreasonable to be able to rearrange the piece to reflect the request...that is IF his argument about him being able to lead this country to victory in Iraq is true...and IF he is truly more versed and experienced on foreign policy as he claims...well...you get it!

    Obama 08

    July 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Jan, Knoxville, TN

    I thought McCain pledged to run a clean campaign. Where is it? Since he has no real plans of his own, all he can do is criticize Obama. Surely this year the American people will see all the fear mongering and lies.

    OBAMA 08

    July 21, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. 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 me 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 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Jeronimo!

    Can NYT confirm that the E-mail was successfully opened by the McPlain & McRiticize campaign. Maybe Mr. Shipley should use USPS next time he has message or mail for McHuh?

    July 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. ProudToBeDemocrat

    I have been asking on Mccain definition of success and How he plans to accomplish victory and lay out time table and move on to Afganistan, but Bush and Mccain plan is open end with out clear strategy, my fellow democrats if Mcshame wins this election this county is in deep trouble, so let fight hard so it would not happpen. Vote Democrat and the One in life time learder President Obama.

    July 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Informed Voter

    Trying to be Objective here .. Don't see to wrong in NYT rejecting Mc Cain's essay .. they were right ... I've gotten tired out this bickering by the Repub .. if you going to attack Obama ... plz provide solutions/ and explain how your policies are better than Obama's .... all they do is attack attack attack .. without providing solutions of their own ...

    July 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. aliou FL

    No plan is a plan for McBush: boom boom boom Mcsame

    July 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Marc PDX

    Why do the Dems here keep referring to McCain as a warmonger? Haven't they noticed that Obama plans for war, too. He just wants to move it to Afghanistan and Pakistan. But he is strongly calling for more military action there to go after the Taliban and Al Queda. Looks like the Barackiddies are so enamored with Obama that they have failed to listen to him describe what he's going to do: more war! (Unless he is not a man of his words and "refines" his position after getting elected – which is what I expect will happen.)

    Hillary was right! It is all a big fantasy...

    July 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  11. Linda. Boston, MA

    Reasonable request. Personally, I'd LOVE to hear McCain's definition of 'victory', because his arguments seem to confuse the idea greatly. He says we "have succeeded, not are succeeding, we have succeeded". How can this be if we can't pull our troops out? If we cannot yet hand Iraq over to the full control of the newly formed Iraqi government (one that we put into place), then what, exactly, did we win???

    McCain's entire campaign now has become all about what's wrong with Obama, not what's right with him. It's a 100% negative campaign. And this from the advocate of 'civil campaigning'.

    July 21, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. timber

    The media is ridiculous. When GWB wanted to invade Iraq, they were cowards and kept quiet and bowed to him, not daring to confront him for fear of being labled "unpatriotic". Now, the media is grovelling before Obama and not daring to say a word against him in case they are labled "racist". What happened to unbiased journalism?

    July 21, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. KenB, MI

    Can you say "Propaganda"?
    In desperate times desperate ideas are not always good ideas. The McCain camp believes that having more media coverage while Obama is in the middle east is a strategic move...it will backfire. He has brought out the old guard to stand by his side...the independent Lieberman has joined this runaway train with Iraq war comments against the front runner. I suggest we all wave, smile and watch it fireball down the track.

    July 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. lee

    This isn't surprising, Obama is much better at communicating and using/manipulating media sources.

    This site - http://www.brobama.org - looks at this type of issue through a different lens and i think would appeal to a lot of the concerned folks commenting here....

    July 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Mike

    I can't believe how naive you people are. You think the media censoring things and playing favorites is a good thing? The Democratic party is all in favor of and pushing the equal-time concept when it plays into their favor. When it comes to actually playing fair and giving equal time when requested the libs are the first people to say "no, no". Typical do as we say when it's advantageous to us but don't expect us to play by the rules we want you to play by liberal approach to everything. No wonder the NYT is losing subscribers on a daily basis. The only appropriate response of the editor should have been "we'll publish it". Let the American people decide which op-ed they like better. The media giving preferential treatment to one candidate over another isn't a new thing but that doesn't make it right.

    July 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Democrat for Life

    You don't have to say another word... Democrats, this is our year (hooray!!)

    Obama '08

    July 21, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. blaising

    Ouch!! He can't stay on message even when it's written for him!

    Back to school fro you McFlipflop...let REAL MEN take over!!

    July 21, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Di

    It would be nice if the press would stop editing what the candidates have to say. It is not their job to give opinion regarding candidates positions, motivations, or speeches. It is, rather, the job of the press to REPORT. How can the public be OK with what a debacle that has turned in to? The media has gone insane.

    July 21, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Joe Ahchay

    After reading this e-mail a few times, I do have to agree that it is a pretty good slam towards McCain.

    I think it has to do a lot with the fact that it was written so cheerfully and positively – yet, in essence, it essentially tells the McCain campaign to knock it off and write a better article.

    Very humorous.

    July 21, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Mike in NY

    McCain *did* criticize the war effort when he was in the Senate and *did* offer a proposal - the troop surge. The surge has, in fact, worked so well by *any* account that people in the know (and even people like Obama who don't know much of anything) are suggesting that we could shift many troops to Afghanistan (or even home) sooner than expected.

    One would think that people would know what they're talking about before commenting - and that CNN's "moderators" would do some fact-checking, or perhaps that they would even cease posting fake comments from non-people as they shamelessly and transparently try to get Obama elected.

    July 21, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Linda K.

    I've received rejection letters that weren't this nice.I applaud the New York Times for maintaining journalistic standards. Welcome to the real world, John McCain.

    July 21, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Frank

    The only conclusion I can draw is that David Shipley must be a Democrat and is biased. To specifically demand McCain mirror Obama's piece in an Opinion section is purely political. McCain should be able to answer any way he chooses.

    July 21, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Sam

    Ya. great questions by the editor. And the answers are.......I thought as much. Nothing there...McWhine!

    July 21, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. Billy

    McCain = Jan Brady
    Obama = Marsha Brady


    July 21, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. Obama4change

    New York Times, you are the best! It is about time that someone in the MSM questioned McBush about all the negative and put downs about Senator Obama. What are the plans and policies of McBush if he were to becomes president? It is really sickening to hear all the criticizism of Senator Obama by McBush. He needs to talk about something else, this is getting OLD!

    July 21, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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