The rumors alleging that Republican presidential front-runner John McCain had an affair with a Washington lobbyist eight years ago are old, old news. Really old news.
But the New York Times, the former pre-eminent "Gray Lady" of journalism now turned liberal apologist, simply couldn't stomach the idea that McCain is winning in his bid for the Republican nomination. Their current mashup never actually confirms that McCain acted improperly with lobbyist Vicki Iseman.
In a puffed-up display of sexism and windy words scrawled on smoke and mirrors, the Times comes up with these startling revelations: Iseman, a professional lobbyist, went to McCain's office frequently. Amazing. A lobbyist visiting a U.S. senator's office? Who ever heard of such outlandish behavior?
But wait! There's more! She turned up at fund raisers with McCain. Now, there's evidence: lobbyists for major corporations that fund candidates going to fundraisers for candidates or Congresspersons they favor. Apparently the Times plumbers (ah, Nixon days!) don't get out often enough to circulate at political and business events.
And, to top off this sewage sundae, the Times, gamboling in the fields of Jerry Springer-dom, notes that Iseman flew on private jets with McCain now and then. Does the Times have any clue how many people flow into and out of Congressperson's offices, fundraisers, transportation (plane, train, or automobile) within just one year?
Based on the Times' logic, one of the Peanut crew has had affairs with numerous governmental luminaries. But really, if we did, we missed all the fun and weren't even aware of the torrid tumbles that we must have had, at least according to the new, enhanced, yellow tabloid Times.
The Times, which hasn't proven a darned thing, obviously doesn't care that it's potentially ruining Iseman's personal and public reputation, and thus may affect her earning capability. There is, however, one important fact on which the Times is correct: Iseman is a woman, and an attractive woman at that.
Would the Times be passing on gossip were Iseman a man? We doubt it. The Times, frightened by a strong Republican, who's also a successful (no damaged veteran stories here) former Vietam POW and a war hero, is simply flushing the gossip pipes to see if anything bubbles up. How those atop the throne of liberal hand-wringing managed to swish past such blatant sexism is something obscured in turgid waters.
It's said that McCain's staff restricted Iseman's access to McCain after rumors began. The Times, working the plunger desperately, declares that as proof positive of an affair. We'd call that smart image handling. Anyone who lives in a small town knows: if people are talking trash about something you're doing, be careful doing it even if you're doing nothing wrong.
On the other hand, the Times still hasn't gotten over its careful tidy bowl work when President Bill Clinton, accompanied by a good cigar (hello, Dr. Freud!) was caught playing around with an intern in the Oval Office. We need to be really careful here in defining the Times' standards. Sex with a young intern by a married U.S. president on company time and property is regrettable but an understandable flaw and error for a liberal Democrat; being seen conducting normal business with a female adult professional lobbyist is a breach of ethics for a conservative Republican.
Frankly, there's no paper strong enough to wipe that bit of Times effluvia clean. But if you mail us some copies of the Times, we'll be glad to put it to work in daily operations and try.
Disclosure: the Peanut crew's most recent contact with a Washington lobbyist was at a family dinner with a date in Oklahoma City. The lobbyist, with whom part of the Peanut crew disagreed politely on some issues, did not pay for a darned thing. However, we did attend the same historic function, we did travel in a vehicle convoy of sorts, and we did sit at the same table. We also had wine with our most excellent meal However, neither the tabletop nor the carpet were not used for any functions other than dining and walking, and no cigars were involved,.