Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

New York Times Needs Named Sources for McCain Lobbyist Story

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   No comments

I'm supporting Barack Obama for President, and wouldn't vote for John McCain if he was the squeakiest clean candidate in history. But I'm also a Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City, with a keen interest in wanting journalists to report with the highest ethical and professional standards to Americans, and I want those standards to apply to reporting about all candidates - whether I agree with their politics or not.

With that goal as my guide, I have to say that The New York Times needs named, on-the-record sources for its front-page story about John McCain possibly having a romantic entanglement with a lobbyist that caused his aides in 2000 to take action.

Unnamed sources have their role in journalism. But in a story of this magnitude, concerning someone who has all but received the Republican nomination for President, and whom the Times endorsed, the public interest requires real names of real sources. In their absence, the public is forced to rely on The New York Times' judgment, and, in a matter of this importance, the judgment of any news operation can never be good enough.

Why do Americans need to know the names of the Times' sources? Because the American people need to decide, based upon all possible evidence, whether the sources were telling the truth to The New York Times. Even if the sources weren't lying, we might learn, based on their position in the campaign, that they were not really in a position to know what was going on. Media other than the New York Times need to be able to look into what happened in 2000, and report their findings.

There is also a point to be made about the allegations themselves being unclear - or, if they are clear, not really indicative of any ethical breach. Did McCain actually have an affair with the lobbyist, or were the aides acting to make sure this didn't happen?

In a Presidential election, reporting should, if anything, be held to higher standards than usual. Although this story is certainly of great interest, it appears that The New York Times, if anything, adhered to lower standards than we might want it to bring to bear regarding sources and details.

 

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Paul Levinson Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001),The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), and The Plot To Save Socrates (2006). His science fiction and (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hillary Clinton Swings Wildly at Obama - Saturday Night Live Provides Comic Relief and Obama Girl

Barack Obama May Be The Greatest Orator of our Time

I'm Voting for Barack Obama in New York

Obama Deserves Credit for Being Against the War from the Start

Chris Matthews Humiliates Obama Spokesman in MSNBC Coverage

Two Pieces of Nonsense Yesterday about Bill Clinton and Barack Obama