The brilliant mind of New York Times editor David Shipley:
The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans.
It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory — with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the Senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan.
In other words, Shipley says, McCain’s rebuttal can’t be published simply because his opponent got a free campaign ad on the pages of the New York Times. He must submit something that “works for” David Shipley — who, quite naturally, establishes ground rules that favor Obama.
This was one of the arguments against McCain-Feingold: The major media will always be able to control the terms of its own participation in political discourse; regulation of advertising by “outside groups” only strengthens the media’s monopolistic power. McCain is thus hoisted by his own “reform” petard.
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