james debate
james debate

Wednesday 23 July 2008

The New York Times has rejected an essay written by Republican Presidential nominee John McCain defending the Iraq war.

A week ago, senator Barack Obama had a piece published by the Times in which he detailed his views on Iraq policy and the muddled way it has been mishandled by the Bush administration. The piece has received a fair deal of critical acclaim and as such McCain deemed it necessary to write a rebuttal.

Unfortunately he decided to take this idea to an extreme, which has resulted in the highly respected publication rejecting his piece. In an e-mail to the McCain campaign, Opinion Page Editor David Shipley said he could not accept the piece as written, but would be "pleased, though, to look at another draft."

"Let me suggest an approach," he wrote Friday. "The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans. It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece."

If you give the McCain piece a read it is not difficult to imagine why this has not been accepted in its current form. Every single paragraph begins with 'Obama says...' or 'Obama thinks...' rather than actually offering his own assessment of the situation, McCain has chosen to write an attack piece on Senator Obama.

This shouldn't come as a shock to political pundits, as it basically reflects how the GOP generally chooses to run its campaigns. What is interesting to see is the contrast between a reputable news source like the New York Times, which refuses to sink to such a level and publish a piece like that, and something like Fox News, which is increasingly becoming a parody of a news network reporting more propaganda and car chases than real news, stepping dangerously close to the Fox News image in satirical comedy 'Idiocracy'.

As a closing thought I will present another interesting news item from today, namely that tomorrow in New York at 2pm local time, there will be a mass protest outside the Fox building to complain about the general lack of quality in Fox News, and present a petition with close to 700,000 signatures to warn advertisers to avoid associating their products with such a thing. If this receives good coverage and makes some real noise then it will be a real triumph for all Americans who want to be taken seriously.

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