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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Clinton Rules -- McCain Edition

By Keith Schmitz

This week the New York Times committed the effrontery, the utter effrontery, of emitting a whiff of scandal over the possibility that GOP presumptive presidential nominee John McCain would be too cozy with lobbyists. The Times did however sexed it up with the hint that McCain was having an affair with one of the lobbyists.

But the result of The Times releasing the article unleashed the predictable firestorm from not only the right wing blogs but also the mainstream media, particularly Chris Matthews on Hardball, who has an almost embarrassing man-crush on McCain.

The incident prompts Media Matters to lay out the contrasting coverage afforded the Clintons by the press.

I'm no fan of Hillary Clinton but the unfavoritism press attention given her and the President is glaringly obvious. The New York Times in particular led the pack, putting out the slightest hint of scandal during WhiteWater.

Take the case of Katherine Willey. When the widow leveled her charges of foundling against Bill Clinton she got full treatment on 60 Minutes and splashy coverage days afterward. Her story, it turned out to be bogus and so fake that Ken Starr's successor Robert Ray in his wrap up report hinted that she purgered herself and could have been charged. The only coverage that got was in the back pages of USA Today.

So for your edification, here are the Clinton rules as spelled out by Media Matters:

1) If any part of an alleged scandal turns out to be true, the media behaves as though the entire story is true.

2) Media parse every statement by progressives in response to controversy, looking for something to ridicule -- whether the ridicule is fair or not.

Think the so-called Kerry botched joke, which Charlie Sykes tried to ride for all it is worth (hard because it was worth nothing).

3) Media parse every statement by progressives in response to controversy, looking for something to ridicule -- whether the ridicule is fair or not.

That is pretty much the way the mainstream media delivers it. And yet the ingrates on the right continue to attack the press.

Fortunately some in the press are taking a fresh look at McCain's relations with lobbyists. Hope they won't be scared off from the job.

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