Tom Bevan today at RealClearPolitics.com - -
On a conference call with reporters just now, McCain campaign senior adviser Steve Schmidt absolutely lit in to the New York Times.
Schmidt made his remarks after Rick Davis answered a question from CNN's Dana Bash about today's story in the Times regarding his former work for the Homeownership Alliance, an advocacy group of 19 member organizations which include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
But let's be clear and be honest with each other about something fundamental to this race, which is this: whatever the New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization.Bevan provides a link to the audio of the entire conference call. The entire NY Times story is here.
It is pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day attacks the McCain campaign, attacks Senator McCain, attacks Governor Palin, and excuses Senator Obama.
There's no level of public vetting with regard to Senator Obama's record, his background, his past statements. There's no level of outrage directed at his deceitful ads.
This is an organization that is completely, totally, 150% in the tank for the Democratic candidate, which is their prerogative to be. But let's not be dishonest and call it something other than what it is.
Everything that is read in the New York Times that attacks this campaign should be evaluated by the American people from that perspective: that it is an organization that has made a decision to cast aside its journalistic integrity and tradition to advocate for the defeat of one candidate - in this case John McCain - and to advocate for the election of the other candidate, Barack Obama.
If you first listen to the audio of Rick Davis’ explanation of exactly what he did for Homeowners Alliance, what its purpose was, and what influence, if any, the organization had on Sen. McCain’s actions in regard to Freddie and Fannie, and then you read the Times' reporting on the same matters, you’ll wonder whether your heard and read about the same people and events.
I don’t know enough to judge between the two accounts.
But I can tell you this:
The Times story leads readers to believe it’s just now learning about Davis’ association with Homeowners Alliance which, in fact, dates back to 2000 and with which he's not been connected for 3 years.
But in the story which led CNN’s Bash to ask her question, the Times makes it appear that it’s just now learned about Davis and Homeowners Alliance relationship which, by the way, was perfectly legal and about which there’s been no suggestion, even from the “150% in the tank” Times, that either Davis or Homeowners Alliance failed to comply with public disclosure requirements.
Here’s a sample of what I mean by the Times making it appear it's just now learning "the news":
Incensed by [McCain] advertisements [linking Sen. Obama to top Freddie and Fannie executives] , several current and former executives of the companies came forward to discuss the role that Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager and longtime adviser, played in helping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac beat back regulatory challenges when he served as president of their advocacy group, the Homeownership Alliance, formed in the summer of 2000.The Times knows these people it describes as “incensed current and former executives [coming] forward” are not saying anything of substance that isn't public information Team Obama and its Times partner surely collected many months ago as part of their opposition research.
Some who came forward were Democrats, but Republicans, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed their descriptions.
Collecting such information is routine for the presidential campaign organizations of both parties and for major news organizations as they prepare to cover the campaign.
Add to that the fact Obama plays down and dirty Chicago politics and the Times is the news organization that tried to break into the sealed adoption records of Chief Justice and Mrs. Roberts' daughters at the time their father was nominated to the Supreme Court.
There's no way the Times is just now learning about Davis and Homeowners Alliance.
But by presenting today’s story as the result of news its just obtained from people upset by what McCain's done, the Times casts its candidate as a victim and hides from readers the fact it's publishing a partisan hit piece timed to meet Obama's campaign needs.
Question for Times fans: Does it bother you that the Times has covered Gov. Palin and her family the way it has, but never asked the Obamas why they brought their children all those years to the anti-white, anti-American Jeremiah Wright’s church for their religious instruction?