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McCain Article Casts Doubt on Times

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The timeline on the McCain scandal bombshell dropped by The New York Times stinks.

Here's the problem: The Times reporter Jim Rutenberg got a tip in November of '07 — last fall — that Senator John McCain had a suspicious relationship with a hot, young blonde lobbyist back in 1999.

Matt Drudge and the Associated Press reported in December, just before Christmas, that McCain's office and The Times executive editor were exchanging phone calls about the story that McCain 's people were saying it wasn't true, and The Times was saying, we're continuing to investigate.

Fast forward to January 25th, just before the New York primary on Super Tuesday. The Times endorses John McCain for the New York Republican primary.

Now hang on a second.

If The Times thinks McCain had been engaged in an inappropriate, romantic relationship with the hot, young blonde lobbyist, why would it be endorsing him for president?

One answer is The Times needed McCain to be the nominee for the story to be even remotely interesting — there's not much traction in a story that is headlined "Senator and Lobbyist Linked Romantically."

It would be a scandal, but a scandal only a small-town paper would love. The New York Times needs bigger scandals, namely: Presidential Nominee Linked Romantically With Lobbyist Babe.

And secondly, even if "build him up to knock him" down weren't the motivation for holding back the scandal story while giving the endorsement, how could The Times ask its Republican readers — and there must be a few — to vote for a guy The Times knew to be unworthy by his personal behavior? What kind of responsible endorsement is that?

The reasoning there seems to be: We know this guy is bad, but if you must vote for a Republican, he's the best you're going to get.

All of which casts more doubt on The New York Times than John McCain.

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