Friday, August 1, 2008

McCain Camp Declares War On The NYT Editorial Board

The McCain camp response to the NYT editorial board over the top blog post of yesterday - "this is war and we ain't takin' prisoners."

I blogged on the NYT article of today that seems to be, in so many words, accusing McCain of being the one to insert racisim into the campaign. In passing, I noted the insane blog post by the NYT editorial board from the other day purporting to find incipient racism in McCain's latest ad comparing Obama to other vaccuous and vapid media-created celebrities, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears and then claiming that it was really John McCain playing the race card. Here is a bit of the NYT editorial board blog post:

The presumptive Republican nominee has embarked on a bare-knuckled barrage of negative advertising aimed at belittling Mr. Obama. The most recent ad compares the presumptive Democratic nominee for president to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton — suggesting to voters that he’s nothing more than a bubble-headed, publicity-seeking celebrity.

The ad gave us an uneasy feeling that the McCain campaign was starting up the same sort of racially tinged attack on Mr. Obama that Republican operatives ran against Harold Ford, a black candidate for Senate in Tennessee in 2006. That assault, too, began with videos juxtaposing Mr. Ford with young, white women.

Mr. Obama called Mr. McCain on the ploy, saying, quite rightly, that the Republicans are trying to scare voters by pointing out that he “doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills.’’

But Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, had a snappy answer. “Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,” he said. “It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.’’

The retort was, we must say, not only contemptible, but shrewd. It puts the sin for the racial attack not on those who made it, but on the victim of the attack.
It also — and we wish this were coincidence, but we doubt it — conjurs up another loaded racial image.

The phrase dealing the race card “from the bottom of the deck” entered the national lexicon during the O.J. Simpson saga. Robert Shapiro, one of Mr. Simpson’s lawyers, famously declared of himself, Johnny Cochran and the rest of the Simpson defense team, “Not only did we play the race card, we dealt it from the bottom of the deck.”
It’s ugly stuff. How about we leave Britney, Paris, and O.J. out of this — and have a presidential campaign?

And here is the response from the McCain campaign:

McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb just sent out this statement, attacking the Times as hysterically pro-Obama:

"If the shareholders of the New York Times ever wonder why the paper's ad revenue is plummeting and its share price tanking, they need look no further than the hysterical reaction of the paper's editors to any slight, real or imagined, against their preferred candidate. This campaign has never engaged in 'racially tinged attacks,' and the Obama campaign conceded as much yesterday in a statement clarifying that "Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue."

That the Times made this allegation in a blog post rather than running it on the editorial page indicates that they either knew the charge was bogus or they didn't have the nerve to make their case in full view of the public. But in their new role as bloggers, the paper's editors seem to have all the intelligence and reason of the average Daily Kos diarist sitting at home in his mother's basement and ranting into the ether between games of dungeons and dragons. They also have about as much care for the facts--the "board" has already been forced to append a correction."

Read the whole article. Take no prisoners indeed. A stinging response to an incredible bit of agenda journalism from what was the most respected newspaper over the country's last century. Odds are, this rag will not see 2020 - or maybe even 2010 if the country gets real lucky.

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