NYT's Bumiller writes unsourced hit piece on McCain
By Soren Dayton Posted in Elisabeth Bumiller | John McCain | Media Bias | National Security | The New York Times — Comments (11) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Remember Elisabeth Bumiller? She's that New York Times reporter who tried to attack John McCain on the plane a couple of months ago. Our Dan McLaughlin characterized the interaction as "a 'gotcha' question about an old story on which there are no new facts and the reporter is just trying to pick a fight."
Well... Bumiller is at it again, doing yeoman's work for Barack Obama. This time it is an unsourced hit piece lacking in facts ... or quotes. What are we talking about?
Let's look at some examples:
Prominent members of the pragmatist group, often called realists, say they are also wary of the McCain campaign’s chief foreign policy aide, Randy Scheunemann, who was a foreign policy adviser to former Senators Trent Lott and Bob Dole and who has longtime ties to neoconservatives.
Well... which prominent members? Are they willing to give unnamed quotes? Apparently not, because they aren't in the article. No quotes, no facts.
One of the chief concerns of the pragmatists is that Mr. McCain is susceptible to influence from the neoconservatives because he is not as fully formed on foreign policy as his campaign advisers say he is, and that while he speaks authoritatively, he operates too much off the cuff and has not done the deeper homework required of a presidential candidate.
Again... Got a quote? Any actual evidence that anyone actually believes this? Or just unsourced, unquoted statements by a reporter who is known to be hostile to John McCain?
Similarly, Mr. Scowcroft is said to have expressed reservations about Mr. McCain’s call for creating a League of Democracies as a complement to the United Nations.
Scowcroft "is said to have expressed"?? Did he express or not? If he did, quote him, like a journalist. Otherwise, Bumiller is just trading in gossip.
In fact, the only quotes in the story come from former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. The quote that would allegedly support the lede is, emphasis added:
“It maybe too strong a term to say a fight is going on over John McCain’s soul,” said Lawrence Eagleburger, a secretary of state under the first President George Bush, who is a member of the pragmatist camp. “But if it’s not a fight, I am convinced there is at least going to be an attempt. I can’t prove it, but I’m worried that it’s taking place.”
So a whole story is based around a quote that includes "maybe its too strong", "I can't prove it", and "but I'm worried".
That's not journalism. That's just a hit piece. Bumiller and her editors should be ashamed of themselves for abandoning standards like this.
Give the New York Times a call at (202) 862-0300 or (212) 556-1234 and tell them what you think of these hatchet jobs.