Ed Driscoll

Well, Here's Something You Don't Read Every Day

In an earlier post, I linked to Ed Morrissey’s discussion of the New York Times’ Jodi Kantor attempting to troll Facebook for any muck she can rake on Cindy McCain.

Here’s the letter from Kantor, which Ed quotes:

I saw on facebook that you went to Xavier, and if you don’t mind, I’d love to ask you some advice about a story. I’m a reporter at the New York Times, writing a profile of Cindy McCain, and we are trying to get a sense of what she is like as a mother. So I’m reaching out to fellow parents at her kids’ schools. My understanding is that some of her older kids went to Brophy/Xavier, but I’m trying to figure out what school her 16 year old daughter Bridget attends- and a few people said it was PCDS. Do you know if that’s right? Again, we’re not really reporting on the kids, just seeking some fellow parents who can talk about what Mrs. McCain is like.

Also, if you know anyone else who I should talk to- basically anyone who has encountered Mrs. McCain and might be able to share impressions- that would be great.

Thanks so much for any help you can give me.

Jodi Kantor
Political correspondent
New York Times

If the following letter is real, an attorney for Cindy McCain is attempting a little pushback:

These allegations and efforts to hurt Cindy have been a matter of public record for sixteen years. Cindy has been quite open and frank about her issues for all these years. Any further attempts to harass and injure her based on the information from Gosinski and Clark will be met with an appropriate response. While she may be in the public eye, she is not public property nor the property of the press to abuse and defame.

It is worth noting that you have not employed your investigative assets looking into Michelle Obama. You have not tried to find Barack Obama’s drug dealer that he wrote about in his book, Dreams of My Father. Nor have you interviewed his poor relatives in Kenya and determined why Barack Obama has not rescued them. Thus, there is a terrific lack of balance here.

I suggest to you that none of these subjects on either side are worthy of the energy and resources of The New York Times. They are cruel hit pieces designed to injure people that only the worst rag would investigate and publish. I know you and your colleagues are always preaching about raising the level of civil discourse in our political campaigns. I think taking some your own medicine is in order here.

It’s signed, “John M. Dowd [of] Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP”. While the letter states that “none of these subjects on either side are worthy of the energy and resources of The New York Times”, the mere fact that “Barack Obama’s drug dealer” is being introduced into the public discourse by a campaign surrogate itself is pretty remarkable. (But hey, all’s fair in a presidential race, right?)

But then, given that the Tanning Bed media have made the business license of someone who merely asks a question of a candidate fair game, and now, the parenting skills of a potential first lady, they shouldn’t be surprised if the other side decides to push back.