Roger’s Rules

Why I do not like The New York Times, Section 10, Chapter 687

Yesterday, The New York Times published another of its non-stories about John McCain. (Remember the front-page story announcing that Mr. McCain was not having an affair with a lobbyist?) The latest contribution to malicious journalistic non-entity dilated on the fact Mr. McCain says very little publicly about his son’s service in the United States Marines.

It’s really not too complicated. As Jodi Kantor, the author of “Vocal on War, McCain Is Silent on Son’s Service,” noted in the course of her story, Mr. McCain has refrained from mentioning his son’s service with the Marines 1) because he did not want to be seen to be using it for political gain and 2) he wished “to protect him from becoming a prize target.”

You might think that even the Times would applaud number 1, but Jodi manages to cast a miasma of suspicion over even that aspect of Mr. McCain’s behavior, writing that he “has largely maintained a code of silence about his son.” What she means is that he hasn’t said much about it. But only dodgy people–you know, mafiosi, army generals, and Republican politicians–maintain “codes of silence,” i.e., they have something to hide, something that the public-spirited people at The New York Times want you to know, who cares if it comprises national security or endangers the lives of American servicemen?

And speaking of endangering American military personnel, I wonder how Ms. Kantor and her editors feel about the second reason Mr. McCain gave for not talking publicly about his son’s service? Ms. Kantor notes that “The McCains declined to be interviewed for this article, which the campaign requested not be published.” But she published it anyway. What if, God forbid, some harm comes to the junior McCain? Would she feel badly about that? Would she think, “Gee, perhaps I should not have published details about the military service of a son of a prominent politician?” I doubt it. After all, to the Left, Mr. McCain is a “warmonger,” or anyway a Republican which for the Times is pretty much the same thing, and warmongers deserve what they get.

I have been reading a good deal of Kipling recently. Jodi Kantor’s odious tapestry of innuendo reminded me once again how pertinent that great observer of humanity is to our current situation. Now, as in Kipling’s day, “makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep” is a liberal’s delight. After all, we’re talking about The New York Times here, the paper whose publisher observed during the Vietnam war that if a North Vietnamese soldier ran into an American soldier, he’d rather see the American soldier shot. It’s useful to keep such comments in mind as you make your way through the anti-American pabulum that our former paper of record offers up as news these days.