The New York Times reports today that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis pulled in $30,000/month from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for five years. He ran an advocacy group which "current and former officials say" was created to "defend them against stricter regulations." The writers, David Kirkpatrick and Charles Duhigg, accuse Davis of nothing illegal or unethical; rather, they're sitting little bits of muddy insinuation perhaps to see something stick somewhere.
John McCain's chief strategist Steve Schmidt will hear none of that [nonsense].
His statement on a conference call this AM:
Let me first say we are First Amendment absolutists on this campaign. The press and anybody who wishes to cover this race from a blogosphere perspective or from a media perspective is of course constitutionally protected with regard to writing whatever they want to write.
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 an standard a journalistic organization. It is a pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day attacks the McCain campaign, attacks Sen. McCain, attacks Gov. Palin, and excuses Sen. Obama. There is no level of public vetting with regard to Sen. Obama’s record, his background, his past statements. There is no level of outrage directed at his deceitful ads. This is an organization that is completely, totally, 150 percent 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 advocate for the election of the other candidate, Barack Obama.
You can hear Schmidt say this himself OVER HERE.
I'd put up the Batman Comic-style "sound effects" – BOOM!, BAM!, POW! – but this is not a comic book. Or is it?
What Schmidt said today has been obvious since at least last February 21, when the Old, Gray, Drunk Lady (the Times) ran that almost farcical piece concerning John McCain's supposed "romantic relationship" with lobbyist Vicki Iseman which was nothing and could not even pretend to be anything. It was more smear, innuendo, and shoddiness which the paper delivers daily in its politics section. (Dave Kirkpatrick was involved in that bit of dross, as well.)
What has changed between the two stories? Steve Schmidt assumed control of Team McCain in July.
David Axelrod has lost his way, and he is admittedly counting on the media to throw the slime for him. They are being called on it.