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A lesson for John McCain Update: McCain responds– "It's not true;" Update: TNR reports on the "constipated" NYT

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 20, 2008 09:55 PM

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If you lie down with MSM dogs, you wake up with stories like this.

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Allah’s got the latest involving the McCain camp’s claim that The New Republic pressured the NYTimes to run the story.

Dogs. Fleas. Karma.

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Parting thought number one: Instead of dredging up old news, maybe the National Fishwrap of Record could have actually broken fresh ground and pursued the George Soros-open borders-Reform Institute angle. The Reform Institute is mentioned in the NYT article, but only in the context of rehashing past reports on the think tank collecting “hundreds of thousands of dollars in unlimited donations from companies that lobbied the Senate commerce committee” and paying the salaries of key McCain aide Rick Davis.

Parting thought number two: Maybe McCain will really mean it now when he jokes about the “jerks from the media.”

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2/21 9:37am Eastern. McCain holds a press conference this morning to respond to the NYT: “It’s not true.”

John McCain denied a romantic relationship with a female telecommunications lobbyist and said a report by The New York Times suggesting favoritism for her clients is “not true.”

“I’m very disappointed in the article. It’s not true,” the likely Republican presidential nominee said as his wife, Cindy, stood alongside him during a news conference called to address the matter.

McCain described the woman in question, lobbyist Vicki Iseman, as a friend.

The newspaper quoted anonymous aides as saying they had urged McCain and Iseman to stay away from each other prior to his failed presidential campaign in 2000. In its own follow-up story, The Washington Post quoted longtime aide John Weaver, who split with McCain last year, as saying he met with lobbyist Iseman and urged her to stay away from McCain.

Weaver told the Times he arranged the meeting after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about Iseman.

McCain said he was unaware of any such conversation.

Here’s more on the political advantages of going to war with the NYT.

Here’s the vid of McCain’s press conference. He seems unusually subdued:

More reax from conservatives here.

Update 2:15pm Eastern. TNR –not exactly in the best position to be wagging its finger at anyone else about poor jounalism, but I digress–runs its story behind the NYT’s thin, recycled story. My favorite paragraph:

Inside the Times newsroom, the Drudge item sent the McCain piece into hiding, making it both tightly guarded and “a topic of conversation,” as one staffer put it. “The fact that it ended up on Drudge pushed it into secrecy,” added another staffer. “The paper gets constipated on these things,” a veteran former Times staffer said, describing the editors’ deliberations over whether to run the piece.

I find it amusing that the paper had constipation–and then ended up with diarrhea all over its front page.

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Allah’s got the best summation: “They got a tip in November, threw four reporters at it, couldn’t substantiate the affair with anything sturdier than hearsay, then dithered about whether to spike it or toss it out there. The compromise solution: Bury it at the end of a long rehash of McCain’s involvement with the Keating Five, to give it some heft by association.”

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