The outrage d’jour in the wingnutosphere is over the NYT’s refusal to publish an op-ed by McCain. Having received a flunking grade from the Old Gray Lady, the McCain campaign immediately did what any right-winger that’s been “victimized” would — went running away balling like a little pantywaste, then desperately implored some higher authority to intercede on their behalf. In this case, McCain’s operatives went squealing to Matt Drudge shrieking “Help, help! I’m being repressed by liberal media bias!” From there it took but a matter of hours for the right’s mighty Wurlitzer to start broadcasting far and wide the iconic paper’s heinous calumny against John McCain. And lo, the broadcast airwaves and vast network of intertubes were soon filled with the indignant howls of outrage from hordes of incensed loons across the land.
Oh yawn. Go read the attack piece yourself. It’s a lame, whiny piece of blather that says absolutely nothing new that we haven’t time and again from McCain. Plus, it’s full of inaccuracies and outright falsehoods. Ah, but then so is the standard Bill Kristol editorial, you say. Quite so! Therefore, we can’t discount it on that basis alone. No, curiously enough, the reasons for the rejection are perhaps best outlined by an unlikely ally from across the pond in the form of Daniel Finkelstein, the Chief Leader Writer for The Times (not exactly a haven of liberals) who says the NYT may have been correct to reject the piece:
…political pieces by elected officials or candidates can often be very boring — safe, unrevealing and tediously partisan. In general I required such pieces to jump over a pretty high importance barrier before I ran them.
Obama’s piece vaulted that hurdle. It outlined his views, pretty much avoided point scoring, and dealt with the issue.
McCain’s piece, on the other hand, knocked the hurdle over. It wasn’t about Iraq. It was about Obama. If I received it I would have done exactly what the NYT did — send it back and ask them to redraft it so that it was about Iraq and was more, well, interesting.
That’s not going to placate the wingnuts of course. Oh no… They’ll rail about liberal media bias for days (weeks, months… years) over this, but perhaps as Libby at Newshoggers put it “their energy might be better spent in helping their candidate rewrite the witless prose to give it some relevancy to the issue, instead trying to sleaze through a free campaign ad.”