On February 21st the New York Times published an article accusing John McCain of having an illicit relationship with a lobbyist and with doing favors for her. The New York Times placed a stain on John McCain’s history of steering clear of campaign finance issues since the days of Keating 5.

(During Mr. McCain’s four years in the House, Mr. Keating, his family and his business associates contributed heavily to his political campaigns. The banker gave Mr. McCain free rides on his private jet, a violation of Congressional ethics rules (he later said it was an oversight and paid for the trips).
They vacationed together in the Bahamas. And in 1986, the year Mr. McCain was elected to the Senate, his wife joined Mr. Keating in investing in an Arizona shopping mall.
Mr. Keating had taken over the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association and used its federally insured deposits to gamble on risky real estate and other investments. He pressed Mr. McCain and other lawmakers to help hold back federal banking regulators.
For years, Mr. McCain complied. At Mr. Keating’s request, he wrote several letters to regulators, introduced legislation and helped secure the nomination of a Keating associate to a banking regulatory board.
By early 1987, though, the thrift was careering toward disaster. Mr. McCain agreed to join several senators, eventually known as the Keating Five, for two private meetings with regulators to urge them to ease up. “Why didn’t I fully grasp the unusual appearance of such a meeting?” Mr. McCain later lamented in his memoir.
When Lincoln went bankrupt in 1989 — one of the biggest collapses of the savings and loan crisis, costing taxpayers $3.4 billion — the Keating Five became infamous. The scandal sent Mr. Keating to prison and ended the careers of three senators, who were censured in 1991 for intervening. Mr. McCain, who had been a less aggressive advocate for Mr. Keating than the others, was reprimanded only for “poor judgment” and was re-elected the next year. )
Many portions of this article are unsubstantiated and seek to place John McCain as far to the opposite end of the Barack Obama change theme as possible. The New York Times defended itself by saying

“On the substance, we think the story speaks for itself. On the timing, our policy is, we publish stories when they are ready.

“‘Ready’ means the facts have been nailed down to our satisfaction, the subjects have all been given a full and fair chance to respond, and the reporting has been written up with all the proper context and caveats.

“This story was no exception. It was a long time in the works. It reached my desk late Tuesday afternoon. After a final edit and a routine check by our lawyers, we published it.”

Defenders of McCain have charged that the Times held the story and only released it once he had the GOP nod wrapped up. A McCain aide has claimed that the paper moved after it learned that the New Republic was about to release a story asserting that the paper was debating what to do with the story.”

This blog was created to aggregate and discuss campaign dirt, however, it seems that the New York Times is now making a play for this vertical. The timing of the release of this article seems as much to fuel Barack Obama’s presidential hopes as much it is meant to crush John McCain’s. The New York Times has officially backed Hillary Clinton, however, this was clearly the smart move for a New York newspaper and not one based on sheer political backing. The article is meant to anger people about the Washington establishment, a common campaign plea for Barack Obama. Once more information comes to light we can discuss the merits of the New York Times’ claims.

Related Posts:

Mike Huckabee Finds a Way to Defy the Delegate Math and Get the Nomination
NYT Supports Clinton, McCain
Edwards Finally Talks (Attacks?)
McCain Claims He Never Favored Any Lobbyist
McCain and Clinton-Close Friends but How Close?