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, TX

    To put it another way:

    "We would love to publish Sentor McCain's editorial but that would mean that it may be misinterpreted that the New York Times would be moving toward the center or, god forbid, fairly reporting an election issue. Since we endorsed Hillary in the primaries and she lost, we need to bet the farm that Obama won't blow it before the election. To that end, we cannot allow any discussion of issues to occur in this newspaper, as our candidate doesn't appear to have the ability to master a debate (we're sure you saw the debates during the primaries).

    Thank you for your interest in publishing anything in the New York Times. It is always refreshing to us to know that someone outside of the liberal establishment thinks that we are relevant.


    The New York Times"

    July 21, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Julie

    I thought McCain said at the beginning that he was going to run a new kind of election where attacking his opponent is not going to be part of his election....what happened? Seems to me he would get a lot more respect if he did what he said he was going to do. He should just stick to what changes he can bring to the office.

    July 21, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Bo

    I have to laugh at the comments here. I post one comment merely saying I am not an Obama supporter and it does not get published. I come back 10 minutes later and 90% of the comments are pro-Obama.

    I wonder if the editorial staff for the NYT is the same for this blog.

    July 21, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Clark Shaffer

    Glad to see someone at the NYTimes using some common sense and rejecting a piece that offered nothing of value to the debate over Iraq and how best to deal with terrorism. From my perspective McCain does not offer the people of this country anything of value either in his approach to the office of president or the way he views the changing times we live in. He seems to personify "business as usual" which in this day in age is truly a recipe for disaster.

    I hate to say it but if he ever had an original idea he'd wake himself up and slap himself silly in as much as he'd not know what else to do with it!

    July 21, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Republican for Obama

    this may be one of the greatest things i've ever read.

    July 21, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. KMAN

    Why on earth would the Times email him ... McThuselah doesn't DO email ... it should have been chiseled in stone which would be the appropriate medium.

    July 21, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Mike, TX

    Also, CNN was nice enough to publish the Obama editorial. I didn't se anything new in his editorial. There were no solutions offered. Only the continued discourse about a failed policy (it was also written before Obama went to Iraq and realized that the surge worked – as evidenced by the removal from the Obama website of anti-surge references).

    July 21, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Marty

    Great!! The "unbiased" media strikes again. So McCain will be accepted ONLY if he acts like Obama and talks like Obama and writes like Obama. New York Times-who cares about your ratty, little rag anyway. Is it really your job to define what the candidates say and do??? Silly me, I thought you only REPORTED the news as it is, not decided what the news should be according to your left leanings.

    July 21, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Steve

    Heaven's sake, don't print the absolute loonisy of Obama's Iraq position(s). McCain's article was factually 100% accurate, NYT didn't dispute the details just the hard hitting facts of it. None of the libs here are saying the facts are inaccurate, just don't criticize our beloved savior Obama. He may melt.

    WMD's weren't found in substancial quantities. So now Obama believes he's a foreign policy expert because he guess'd right. If the media pointed out all his wrong guesses, he'd be laughed out of town.

    McCain solution is simple. Win the war and leave when the generals say it's over not when pandering politicians say it's politically popular to leave. That's not complaining, that's common sense.

    July 21, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |

    I guess the McCain clones on here don't realize the courtesy given by the NYT to the SENIOR Senator.... if they would have published the "essay" McCain would have been laughed out of his nomination, it would have shown a man out of touch and in denial, the NYT would have been hammered with questions as to why they published it. HONESTLY, THEY SAVED HIM FROM LOOKING DUMB, OLD AND OUT OF TOUCH............... WELL AS MUCH AS THEY COULD ANYWAY......


    July 21, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. not an obamabot, thank GOD

    wow anyone need any more proof that the MSM is in bed with the obamas, the lord and savior can do no wrong, all hail messiah obama.

    however this will kill any argument libs have with regards to the fairness doctrine, because the libs are all to happy to have juan mcamnestys' rebuttle censored. freedom of speach, so long as it is liberal speak right? hypocrites.

    July 21, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. Tim, Coronado, CA

    @Mark PDX!

    Afghanistan is the only war we are morally and ethically justified to be engaged in. That little band of Al Qaeda, supported by the Taliban did attack us incase you forgot. Bush couldn't get the job done and McCain will probably blow it if he's given the job. I'm glad Obama gets it and has the guts to pursue it.

    July 21, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. Mike, TX


    You must be 12 years old!

    July 21, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. Phredd

    "It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors
    Senator Obama's piece."

    This sentence from David Shipley's e-mail says everything you need to know about our ultra-liberal media and their ultra-liberal agenda for us.

    July 21, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Joe Ahchay

    Marc PDX July 21st, 2008 3:50 pm ET

    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…

    I dont think Obama supporters are ignoring the fact that Obama wants to shift our military operations to Afghanistan. I just think they are more understanding because... you know... the radical fundamentalist groups responsible for 9/11 originated IN AFGHANISTAN.

    An overwhelming majority of Americans favored a military response in Afghanistan. An overwhelming majority of Americans are (and were) against occupation in Iraq. What Barack is doing isn't the same calls for war that you hear the Republicans doing across this country – because Barack is offering a plan to complete the original (and ethically understandable) mission that we should have finished in the first place.

    I don't know, I guess all I am asking is that if you are going to take erroneous potshots at Barack Obama supporters, at least do your research. Your argument isn't based so much on you being angry at Obama as it is you being naive as to what most on the Republican side are doing. Both parties are guilty of being two-faced and disingenuous, but McCain/Bush/etc. are the ones talking about an extension of an unpopular and miserable war.

    July 21, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. William Abbey

    I see a clear bias in the coverage of McCain and Obama. I think that we all need to be concerned when everything we see is slanted toward one candidate. We live in the most vibrant democracy on this planet and we need to ensure that all sides have an opportunity to be heard.

    July 21, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Chuck

    No offense intended; however, after reading both essays, there is a distinct difference in the two. Obama's piece was written with great care, thought, statement of position with reasons for said position and how that position differs from the opposing view. Obama's Piece contained documented facts (not fiction), and direct short statement as to how it differs from McCain's. McCain's was nothing but an out right attack against the opposing view, with no honest facts other than the surge success and his original positon on the war. Also it did not provide any statement of position, reasons for said position, and no plan for any direction. I have seen papers written by junior high school kids that were more thought out, realistic, factual and substantial. I agree with Capt and Corin above.

    July 21, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. Brian

    What do you expect? The New York times is obviously biased. Demanding McCain's article have timetables? Please! This is what he has said generals on the ground have told him would be dangerous. Mr. Shipley is a power hungry editor who is in no place to be making political demands. Shame on him!

    July 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Brian from NYC

    Hey just another example of affirmative action in the long list of affirmative action victories for Barack Hussein Obama. First getting into college, then Harvard Law, then the law review, now affirmative action on the political field. NY Times feels the need to defend obama, not print opposing views, would that make Barack look wrong? There is no way we can question Obama's intelligence on the issue that would be disrespectful, maybe hurt his feelings.........

    July 21, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Jeb from Toronto

    Here is the guy who shook up his campaign!!!!!!!!!! I thought that some brilliant guys were brought in the game.... but seems likes things got worse. How anyone with the brain in his head can allow a such second grade essay get out to be published in a major newpaper like THE NY>>TIME... If America is to be lead by this kind of morrons again, the whole world is in big trouble.

    July 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. AJ in Fla

    Another step towards communisim..!!!!!

    July 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Becky

    I respect the editor. He was doing his job, and was cordial enough to not just respond with, "Hey, no article on just bashing the other guy." No, the editor gave very good reasons as to why McCain should re-write (if he even wrote it) his story by explaining his clear plans. But McCain's current version of the story he wrote does speak a lot about how McSmear like to run his campaign!

    Obama '08

    July 21, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. roy

    This is a suprise? the new york times is as big a wacko as Obama. what happened to free speech? I guess its free as long as its the new york times view. soon the world will see that Obama is a clown in an empty suit. they already know the times is not creadible. Nobama!

    July 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. GoMcCain

    McCain is more experienced. Sometimes it is not possible to have a specific time line for things as things keep constantly changing specially in a war. Newspaper does not have any war experience, nor does Obama. But McCain has great experience. Sometimes no plan is a good plan. It's NYTs failure and not McCain's

    July 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. Mark


    July 21, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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