McCain Camp Fires Back at Times for Cindy McCain Story

Published October 18, 2008

| FoxNews.com

John McCain's campaign is expressing outrage over a New York Times story that focuses on Cindy McCain's marriage to the Arizona senator, including her miscarriages, her past addiction to painkillers and her failure in Washington to fit in.

The campaign's outrage comes on the heels of a letter Cindy McCain's attorney, John Dowd, wrote earlier this month to New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller accusing him of biased coverage for not pursuing more information about Obama's personal life.

"It is worth noting that you have not employed your investigative assets looking into Michelle Obama," Dowd wrote in the letter, which the campaign has made public now in response to the latest report by the Times.

"You have not tried to find Barack Obama's drug dealer that he wrote about in his book, 'Dreams of My Father,'" he continued. "Nor have you interviewed his poor relatives in Kenya and determined why Barack Obama has not rescued them. Thus there is a terrific lack of balance here."

The McCain camp provided the letter to FOX News on Saturday, the same day the piece was published. In addition to the missive, the McCain released a scathing critique of the story, calling it "gutter journalism at its worst -- an unprecedented attack on a presidential candidate's spouse."

The New York Times defended its coverage of both presidential hopefuls and the story on Cindy McCain.

"The Times has reported vigorously on the backgrounds of the candidates and the influential people in their lives, including both prospective first ladies. We reported where the facts led us," Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis said in a written statement to FOXNews.com.

"The story was a richly reported, completely fair, respectful -- even empathetic -- profile of a would-be first lady," Mathis added. "The material is almost all from named sources, and the McCain campaign has not disputed a single fact." 

The McCain camp also condemned New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, who co-wrote the feature, for e-mailing a 16-year-old friend of the McCain's youngest child, seeking more information on Cindy McCain.

"The New York Times has stooped lower than this campaign ever imagined possible in an attempt to discredit a woman whose only apparent sin is being married to the man that would oppose that paper's preferred candidate, Barack Obama, in his quest for the presidency," McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb wrote in the statement released Saturday.

"It is a black mark on the record of a paper that was once widely respected, but is now little more than a propaganda organ for the Democratic party," he added. "The New York Times has accused John McCain of running a dishonorable campaign, but today it is plain to see where the real dishonor lies."

Kantor declined to comment when reached by FOXNews.com.

Click here for the New York Times story.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/10/18/mccain-camp-fires-times-cindy-mccain-story