October 8th, 2008
03:11 PM ET
10 years ago

New York Times calls McCain campaign 'appalling'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/08/art.nytimes.gi.jpg caption="The New York Times issued a critical assessment of McCain's campaign."](CNN) - The New York Times issued a renewed scolding of John McCain in a sharply-worded editorialWednesday morning, the latest salvo in the ongoing back-and-forth between the paper of record and the Arizona senator's White House bid.

"Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember," the Tuesday editorial said. "They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia. Senator Barack Obama has taken some cheap shots at Mr. McCain, but there is no comparison."

Those comments come two weeks after senior McCain advisors derided the New York Times, calling the news outlet "an Obama advocacy organization" in response to an article in the paper that reported McCain campaign manager Rick Davis was still profiting from failed mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

The Times, McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb said then, “obscures its true intentions — to undermine the candidacy of John McCain and boost the candidacy of Barack Obama — under the cloak of objective journalism.”

Top McCain adviser Steve Schmidt also weighed in on the paper that endorsed McCain's primary bid, saying it is “150 percent in the tank” for Obama - a statement that drew a defiant response from managing editor Bill Keller, who said the paper is "is committed to covering the candidates fully, fairly and aggressively."

The McCain campaign appeared to make its peace with the paper over the weekend, when aides to the Arizona senator and Palin herself both highlighted a Times story that investigated the relationship between Obama and 1960's radical William Ayers. That article, published October 3, concluded Obama has played down the extent of his relationship with the Weather Underground founder, but concludes the two "do not appear to have been close."

But in its blistering editorial Wednesday, the paper's editors criticized the campaign and the Alaska governor for suggesting Obama is "palling around with terrorists," saying that Palin is implying that "Mr. Obama is right now a close friend of Mr. Ayers — and sympathetic to the violent overthrow of the government."

“We certainly expected better from Mr. McCain, who once showed withering contempt for win-at-any-cost politics," the editorial says.

Earlier: Cindy McCain says Obama running 'dirtiest campaign' ever

soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Mia-Stafford

    Was the NYTimes appalling when they endorsed McCain during the primary season?

    I find it interesting how the NY Times is in and out of favor with the McCain campaign based on whether or not they did a hit job on Obama that day. For three days they have been misquoting the NY Times over the Ayers story, now they are the worse newspaper.

    WHATEVER! The McCain/Palin ticket doesn't contain mavericks but HYPOCRITES!

    October 8, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. No Hillary = No Obama

    First it was Hillary that the NY Times scolded and now it's McCain – do we see a biased pattern here? Why does everyone feel they have to "protect" Obama? He's a big boy now, let him fight his own battles – or maybe that's the problem, Mr. Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice, can't. When people feel they can call a candidate by their first name, as if, he's someone familiar and non-threatening, then how is this guy going to handle the beheaders of the world from Mexico to the Middle East?

    October 8, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    What the Obama Times is after McCain/Palin again, what is new. The bias of the so called Main Stream Press is obviously in the open, even on CNN one can see the facial expressions of the reporters and anchors when they show disgust when saying something good about McCain/Palin and the bubbly joy in their faces when saying bad things about McCain/Palin or the joy of talking about Obama/Biden.

    October 8, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. mk

    I wonder if Palin will read the NYT today???

    October 8, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Not hard to believe!!

    NY Times is not in "the tank" for Obama, just like the republicans to blame any and everyone for mistakes they keep making. Now they want to turn this race into a racist- terroist game, instead of focusing on the economy which is what a larage percentage of America is focused on.

    McCain has run the worst campaign in history, I didn't need the NY Times to tell me that.

    October 8, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Donna

    tonyP–"anyone who reads the NYT is a fool?" Didn't you know that Palin said last week that she reads it regularly? And that she purported to quote it about Obama (although she mischaracterized it)? I agree, in this case, that someone who reads the NYT is a fool. But that is the least of Palin's shortcomings.

    October 8, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |



    October 8, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Bulldog

    Sarah, how's that abuse of power investigation coming along?

    Sarah, how's the Alaska Independence Party who hates the USA and who your husband was a member of?

    John, how fun was it to sit on the board for that organization between 1982 and 1984 that was directly involved in the Iran-Contra affair?

    John, how is Mr. Keating doing and how is Cindy doing with all of her business transactions with him?

    John, how many miliary aircraft did you crash before you were ever shot down and why were you allowed to continue flying when piliot's today would not be allowed near an aircraft with that kind of record?

    October 8, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. JD in Moraga

    "Appalling" is being generous. They left out ignorant, unscrupulous, untruthful, bigoted...

    NYT must be doing their job, since they're getting such extreme responses...We've got people to *read* now if we could only get them to *think*

    October 8, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. King

    Its about time someone puts these freaks back on line. When will they realize fear tactics dont work this time round. 'THAT ONE' 08!

    October 8, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. Texas for OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What is amazing to me is that she cant even NAME a newspaper, or magazine that she reads in a interview with Katie Couric last week, and now you mean to tell me she is reading the New York Times NOW!!! Give me a break! LLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL!!!!! PALIN is a big FAKE! THIS ELECTION IS DONE!!!!!!

    "that one" 2008 is going to beat your Joe Six Pack!!!!!!!! LOL!

    October 8, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Obama- Next Stop.. White House

    Question: Who will be the 44th President Of These United States.....

    Answer: U Know....... That One...President Barack Hussein Obama

    Barack Your Vote!!!!

    October 8, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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