Did the New York Times suggest John McCain had an affair with a lobbyist? The issue became a moot legal point this week when Vicki Iseman dropped her lawsuit against the newspaper over an article last year that many people — myself included — thought bent over backwards to make the suggestion without offering a shred of evidence.
In exchange, the paper agreed to publish an op-ed piece from her lawyers.
Let’s the revisionism begin!
In its “Note to Readers” on Friday (also part of the settlement), the Times said:
The article did not state, and The Times did not intend to conclude, that Ms. Iseman had engaged in a romantic affair with Senator McCain or an unethical relationship on behalf of her clients in breach of the public trust.
Let’s look at what the article said again:
Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.
That was the story’s second paragraph.
When the article came out, every major journalism critic and blog covered the story. When the issued died this week, it died quietly, almost as if it didn’t matter in the first place.
(h/t: Dan Kennedy)