We’re OK, You’re Unqualified

The New York Times’s Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, considers complaints that his paper has been unfair to Governor Palin, and finds that all is well in Pinchville. The NYT “stands by its reporting,” except, of course, where it was demonstrably false, as we noted here.

The Times still thinks that John McCain didn’t devote enough time to “vetting” Governor Palin. The problem with this front-page story is that it is only a story if there is some news about Palin that McCain failed to discover. The Times acknowledged this implicitly in the very first sentence of the front-page article that Mr. Hoyt defends:

A series of disclosures about Gov. Sarah Palin, Senator John McCain’s choice as running mate, called into question on Monday how thoroughly Mr. McCain had examined her background before putting her on the Republican presidential ticket.

The problem is that there was no such “series of disclosures.” The best of the Times’s purported “disclosures,” that Palin was once a member of a party that advocated Alaskan independence, was false–just one more example of the paper’s shoddy reporting. The remaining “disclosures” proved nothing at all about McCain’s vetting process: 1) Bristol Palin was pregnant. The campaigns say they knew this, and the Times offers no evidence to the contrary. So this can’t be a “disclosure” that “calls into question…how thoroughly Mr. McCain had examined her background.” 2) Governor Palin has hired a lawyer in connection with the dead-end “investigation” of the firing of a state employee whose least compelling reason for termination was his tasering of a small boy. People hire lawyers all the time–thank goodness!–and the Times doesn’t even try to pretend that this was news to the McCain campaign. 3) Governor Palin’s husband got a DUI 22 years ago, when he was 22 years old–about the same age when Barack Obama, by his own account, was doing illegal drugs.

This is, obviously, a pathetic “series of disclosures” on which to hang the Times article’s thesis. The article was just one more in an endless series of partisan hit-jobs by the Times, and it’s too bad that the paper can’t admit as much.

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