Ed Driscoll

Playing Jujitsu With The Gray Lady

Roger Kimball offers some advice to John McCain:

This fact is one reason I generally try to refrain from dispensing advice to candidates. But the recent dust-up–first reported, I believe, by the Drudge Report–over The New York Times’s refusal to print an op-ed by John McCain responding to an op-ed they published the week before by Barack Obama prompts me to depart, at least partially, from this tradition.

I say “at least partially” because my advice is negative: I do not have a 5-point program for ending taxes, avoiding death, or obtaining waterfront property in Maine free of charge. But I hate to see wasted energy just as much as Al Gore says he hates it, and I have a simple one-stop program for saving the McCain campaign–and the campaigns of other Republican candidates–quite a lot of energy. (By the way, you can read the McCain op-ed in The New York Post here.)

It’s as simple as it is efficient: Ignore The New York Times. More and more of your constituents are doing so, why shouldn’t you? Join the many happy folks who have Kicked the Times: Don’t read it, don’t refer to it, don’t regard it as an authority on anything. You’ll feel cleaner and your blood pressure will thank you. Above all, do not write, and do not allow your staff to write, op-eds for the Times. On the off chance that the paper actually publishes your piece, you will only help to bolster its sense of smug self-righteousness and perpetuate the illusion that the paper treats the candidates, or the issues, even-handedly. They don’t, and you shouldn’t collude in fostering the destructive myth that they do.

I agree, except that since the Times’ unforced error already occurred, Sen. McCain should exploit their incredible double-standard as much as he can; it will rally his base and build sympathy amongst undecideds. Much like RatherGate (which this is already being compared to, rightly or wrongly) and its proprietors’ meltdown ended up being a pretty healthy gift to President Bush, McCain should collect as many dividends as possible from the Times’ enormous gaffe.

Update: Just fire up Premiere Pro and tack a line or two onto the end of this ad!