Crossfire

Schmidt Goes After the New York Times

Steve Schmidt, a McCain campaign manager, targeted the New York Times this morning in a conference call, saying they're "not a journalistic organization" and that they're "150-percent in the tank for the Democratic candidate."

When you attack the media in a conference call full of journalists, it's bound to attract some attention — which may have been the point, of course. The Fix says attacking the New York Times "is a smart strategic move when it comes to uniting the Republican base behind McCain."

Schmidt later used Joe Biden's son as an example of the lack of press scrutiny on the Democratic side, claiming Hunter Biden had ties to the credit card industry. As proof of this connection, the RNC then emailed out an article, which — as Jonathan Martin points out — was written by none other than the Times.

Anyway, with all this circulating so quickly, I thought I'd put up some of the audio.

Listen

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The press is liberal-I don't buy it. It sounds like more smoke and whistles for the McCain camp to try to pull voters away from important issues. Vote for the man with intelligence who can talk about the issues to anyone who asks him a question. VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN.

Sent by terry | 3:26 PM | 9-22-2008

McCain is a whiner. If he can't stand the heat then get out of the race! But then everyone knows if the facts are not in your favor, attack the messager. I use to respect this man. Now I despise him as the weasal he is.

Sent by Mary | 3:59 PM | 9-22-2008

SAME OLD, SAME OLD! WILL THE RIGHT EVER
GET TIRED OF USING THE SAME OLD PLAYBOOK. THIS WHY THE RIGHT HAS RUN OUT OF IDEAS.

Sent by Paul S. | 4:08 PM | 9-22-2008

I hope we are not going to be fooled by the Rove machine again. Same crap every four years -- maybe the Democrats should hire the Rove machine next time. Can't do that though--Democrats not mean, ugly or nasty enough...

Sent by vrob125 | 4:13 PM | 9-22-2008

Read the Republican Noise Machine. Well written and documented. Or, just rest assured that the "liberal media" rants are hollow blather.

Sent by Al | 4:13 PM | 9-22-2008

Umm, McCain already united the far right Republican base by caving and picking Palin instead of Lieberman.

And they already feel that the NY Times is out to get them (forgetting that the Times hasn't even endorsed Obama yet. They endorsed Clinton & McCain in the NY primary).

It is not a smart strategic move to call attention to your lies by lying even more (and not talking about any actual issues).

I hope NPR will start posting the full audio of all these conference calls. Voters should be able to listen to the spin the campaigns try and put out each day.

Sent by Steve Rhodes | 5:33 PM | 9-22-2008

The last time John McCain had a press availability was August 13, over a month ago. Palin has never had a press availability/press conference since her announcement.

You think that if they made their candidates available to the press, the coverage would be different, hm? Nope. They're campaigning against the press. Yeah, that'll win them votes. McCain-Palin: Unvetted. Unserious. Unready for office

Sent by Susan Kitchens | 5:36 PM | 9-22-2008

Mainstream media BARELY registers as journalism, either left or right.

Of course it's BAD journalism regardless. It really does seem like a conspiracy to limit the exposure of citizens to the relevant information.

Water is becoming privatized by corporate interests because Americans are so blind to marketing and rational thought that they ACTUALLY BUY BOTTLED WATER.

Our country becomes less free daily. And people actually think changing the dominant political party will change that.

I can't decide if we're in a comedy or a tragedy.

Sent by Jody Sol | 6:08 PM | 9-22-2008

I imagine the right will stop the same 'ole playbook when they start losing. when will the left change their playbook to win? How are you going to win? At least vrob125 is thinking about it. OK, mean and nasty isn't your game, but what? The Economist two weeks ago had a book review covering the persuasive powers of Nelson Mandela. A short example: Mandela was reasonibly fed at lunch, but not so at dinner. he saved his lunch but he wanted a hot plate to heat it up. The prison guard was an Afrikkaner who was not sympathetic at all. Mandela knew the guard was a rugby fan even though he himself didn't care for it. So he learned the sport read the daily scores and when he had a chance spoke to the guard in his own language and talked on and on about south african rugby. Soon after the guard ordered, " Get Mr. Mandela a hotplate right away." What do the Democrats want? To win? Could you persuade a center right republican or independent to join your ticket? Preaching to the chior here on NPR isn't going to get many votes.

Sent by robert | 7:34 PM | 9-22-2008

Let's see ... the McCainists say The New York Times is ignoring Hunter Biden's ties to the credit card business, which the McCainists read about in a New York Times article.

Typical Republican logic.

Sent by Gary Cooper | 7:40 PM | 9-22-2008

I've learned how to read McCain's signals. The very loudest of the criticisms like this of the NY TIMES means: "Help! They are onto me." Or "Help they are about to discover more truisms about the Republican Party." I have never witnessed such blatant deceit as they are trying to pull this year. So many out & out lies. They really believe if they say these things enough - we will believe them, like the deal with Sarah Palin pretending she said "no" to the bridge to the tiny island. I saw a photo of her promoting that fund with a t-shirt, and read text in which she was all for it. What bothers me most of all is that truth is not something many people are even expecting of the Republicans anymore. Many people support them and just have decided to overlook the lies AND the fake indignation over things like the NY TIMES articles.

They are who they are, the Republicans have taken an ethics dive, but what's really upsetting to me is that there are so many people willing to put truth
aside.

Sent by Nancy Oliveri | 8:02 PM | 9-22-2008

Steve Schmidt has ruined the credibility of John McCain, a formerly honorable man

Sent by Mike Fleissner | 8:38 PM | 9-22-2008

Ok, so Obama gets the NY Times, and McCain gets Fox News. Seems fair?

Sent by Angela Vetri | 8:42 AM | 9-23-2008

Agreed... This is such a joke.

For every liberal media outlet there is a conservative to match it. Don't like the NYT? Then read the Washington Post. Don't like CNN? Then watch Fox News. Don't want to listen to Bill O'Reilly? Then listen to Bill Maher. Don't like Ann Coulter? Then watch Michael Moore.

Everybody leans someway or the other... it's human nature. If you want to actually hear "fair" coverage then listen to all the spin and use that squishy thing floating in your head. Anymore the closest you are going to get to "independent journalism" anymore, in my opinion, is NPR and the Wall Street Journal. And even those two lean slightly in one direction or the other!

Silly tripe... let's get back to the issues.

Sent by Dan K. | 10:17 AM | 9-23-2008

The media has been out to lunch since Sarah Palin derided community organizers at the RNC. The media was already out to lunch on the McCain campaign, and it seems the only media outlet willing to report negative news about McCain-Palin is the New York Times. So I don't buy the "liberal media" scream any more now than I did the LAST election.

Sent by George | 11:16 AM | 9-23-2008

I would like to voice my opinion about the news media in general. The news is not longer just reported, every story has a slant according to the writer's personal opinions. Just report the news, that is what people really want.
As a registered Republican I would like to say that the GOP did a poor job of choosing their candidate. My dad is the same age as McCain and needs a nap every day! Obama is getting my vote.

Sent by R Walker | 1:46 PM | 9-23-2008

Not mine but offered to spread the GOP truthiness logic;

If a Democratic presidential candidate graduated 894 out of 899 at the Naval Academy, Fox News and the conservative right would push this story as the basis for his disqualification for the nation's highest office. The rest of the media would then be forced to report on it, giving the story wide exposure.

If a Republican presidential candidate graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, he would be celebrated as an intellectual giant ready to lead the country in bold new directions.

If you're a Harvard and Princeton-educated black woman married for years before having your first child, Fox labels you a "Baby Mama."

If you are a white woman who eloped and had a baby eight months later, you are every-woman and a hero for "doing the right thing" and getting married at all.

If you have studied international affairs for several decades, you're "inexperienced at foreign affairs."

If you live in a state that is geographically near a foreign country, you have "foreign policy expertise."

If you both write and present your own words, you just "give good speeches." (But after all, it's only words, right?) If you read someone else's words from the teleprompter --- a "superstar is born."

If you attend two of the top Ivy League schools in the country, you are surprisingly "articulate."

If you graduate from the 5th or 6th college you attend and you deliver a speech with the phonetic "new-clear" on the teleprompter, you're a poised and eloquent speaker.

If your staff is so dumb they mix up Walter Reed Middle School for Walter Reed Medical Center in your convention's big night, it's because you wanted to focus on education & it would have been political to use the soldiers in that format.

If your staff coordinates a disciplined convention where attention is paid to every detail and all the trains run on time, you are dinged as "presumptuous" for using Greek columns in your backdrop.

A white woman talking tough is an advocate of women's rights; a black woman is angry and bitter.

A white man talking tough is a straight shooter and a conservative; a black man is an angry gangsta rapper.

If you're a Republican and you talk to America's enemies, it's diplomacy.

If you're a Democrat and you talk to America's enemies, it's appeasement.

If you're a Republican and you wind up on the cover of People magazine, it's because you're a "regular American."

If you're a Democrat and you wind up on the cover of People magazine, it's because you're a "celebrity."

If you're white, win a beauty contest, attend 5-6 colleges before finally graduating, join the PTA, are voted to be mayor by 1000 people, govern a sparsely populated state for less than two years, and get chosen at the last minute to be VP... you've lived the American dream.

But if you're black, raised by a single mother, live on food stamps, help the community, graduate from Columbia and Harvard Law School, become the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, serve in both a state senate and the U.S. Senate, build a great campaign organization from scratch, and are voted to be the presidential nominee by millions of people, you are uppity.

If you're a GOP'er you naturally wouldn't see what the problem with any of this was, even if you slept for 20 years on a dictionary opened to the word 'hypocrisy'.

Sent by Victor0803 | 12:51 AM | 9-24-2008

Geraldine Ferraro (one of the Dems own) and a woman VP candidate even saw it. If Obama was a white male he would have been written off like Jerry Brown. In fact we wouldn't have even heard of him.
Racism works both ways.

Sent by Mike Cloghessy | 3:10 PM | 9-24-2008