The New York Times, McCain and Obama

It can be news or a story or any word that describes the story.

Phoo, the story of the supposed “scandal” involving John McCain is exactly the example I’d thought of as a story that hasn’t got legs. The New York Times is basically the unofficial voice of the Democratic Party establishment, and they’re trying various things to ruin McCain’s reputation. None of the stories have had legs, however, because after the reporters investigated for months, they couldn’t find any evidence that he’d really done anything wrong.

Hi Phoo,

No, it’s used by anybody.


Hi Jamie,

Thank you for your explanation.
Now I know how to use the “have legs” thing.

By the way,
I didn’t know The New York Times was such unfair magazine
and functioned as the voice of the Democratic Party establishment!
I should be careful.

So, was the story that “MaCain didn’t mind continuing the war
another 100 years” not ture either?

You have to realize that there is a difference between the way the news media in the US function, as opposed to the way they function in other countries.

In most countries, you have a choice among various newspapers. One will claim to be socialist, another might be communist, another conservative, and another libertarian. You know what you’re getting when you read these papers, and if you read different ones from day to day, you can get a relatively balanced picture of what’s going on.

In the United States, most of the news media claim to be “unbiased” and “objective”, but they’re really slanted in favor of one party or political doctrine. The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek and CNN claim to be “objective”, but they’re more or less the voice of the Democratic Party, and they slant stories or sometimes even deliberately lie in order to support that party’s candidates and agenda. On some days, they’re all saying the same thing in the same words, because those words were released by the Democratic Party. The New York Post, the Washington Times and Fox News tend to be Republican leaning, but they don’t usually take orders from the Republican Party the way the media that favor the Democrats often do.

Like people elsewhere, Americans have to get their news and analysis from a number of sources and figure it out for themselves. The only difference is that in school we’re taught that certain news media, such as the New York Times and Time magazine are “objective” and tell “The Truth”. It takes most of us some time to learn that all news media are biased.

Both of the Democrat candidates have said they’ll pull US troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan quickly, without any regard to what happens to those countries after the US leaves. They’re saying this as a campaign tactic, but if they actually become president, they might end up having a policy toward the war much like that of the Republicans. In at least one campaign appearance, a man got up and said in a surprised voice that President Bush has said that US troops might have to remain in those countries for 50 years, if necessary. McCain replied to him, “Maybe 100 years.” Then he pointed out that the US military has been in Japan for 60 years, and in South Korea for about 50 years. Of course, he doesn’t mean that we should be fighting all that time. The war with Japan ended in 1945, and the war in Korea ended in 1953, but the US military has continued to be present there in case of further hostilities. The newspaper you read apparently distorted the story to make it sound as if McCain wanted to continue the WAR for 100 years, which is not what he said.

You can hear his real words here:

Hi Jamie,

I do understand what you mean.
I agree that all newspapers or magazines have been biased more or less.

We also have four major newspapers in Japan and
each one of them shows slightly different way of view however
they never write complete disinformation with no credible source at all.
If they do such a thing, people never trust them again.

Here goes an old Japanese saying: “There’s no smoke without fire.”
I think that the NYT would lose the reputation in a great deal
if the story about MaCain was
just a deliberately made-up story, witch has no smoke at all behind.

Media can show their own view freely, it is OK.
But never should mislead their readers on purpose
by false information, I think.

In English we say, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

You’re right, and the NYT’s reputation HAS suffered quite a lot since they began printing “news” that is fabricated. There was a scandal a few years ago over one of their journalists, Jayson Blair, who completely made up stories. (You can read about the situation here: The explanation of the suspect stories is part of the way down the page.) The NYT has lost a lot of readers since some of their fabrications have been exposed, because people just don’t know which articles to believe anymore. Also, a few years ago the NYT continued some false reporting begun by CBS News about President Bush’s military record. These stories were based on a certain set of documents that CBS had already been told by an expert were counterfeit. Both news organizations lost a lot of prestige when it was exposed to the public that the documents were false, how they were made, and that CBS, the NYT and the news media knew the documents were false but still used them as the basis for a report.

The “scandals” about John McCain are a case of what we call a “fishing expedition”. Reporters went looking for something they could use to ruin his reputation, and after months, they didn’t find any scandal. So they just took the facts they did find and “spun” them to make people reach false conclusions. They’ve also been trying to smear his reputation using his supposed involvement in a corruption scandal in 1989 that involved some banks. The press is trying to make it look as if McCain was involved, but the investigation report made at the time – which was made by a Democrat, not a Republican – said that McCain was not involved. They try to establish a connection in the public mind between McCain and that scandal, but they leave the conclusions of the investigation out of the story.

Here is a commentary on how the NYT operates nowadays, if you’re interested. … york_times

Hi Jamie,

Thank you for letting me have the interesting sites.
I learned how the NYT operates and a bit about the guy,
Jayson on these sites.
I also read his interview on “Larry King Live” 2004.
He said “There’s nothing that they (NYT) have done that would
prevent another Jayson Blair.”
This sounds scary!

When I watch or read about the presidential primary,
I am surprised at how negative they can be.
But it seems that Democratic candidates, especially Obama,
are attracting more and more people
since most Americans are sick and tired of the status quo.

So I am wondering how come the party has to make up
such a fake story about McCain to ruin his reputation,
there is no need to do it, isn’t it?

This isn’t really what’s going on. A lot of Americans have real problems with the two remaining Democrats in the primaries. Many people object to Hillary Clinton, and they don’t want her or her husband back in the White House. Some of these people are voting for Obama, just as a protest vote. However, Obama is often called an “empty suit”, because he has relatively little political experience, and there is very little of substance behind his optimistic words. Plus, there are real problems in his background. I understand that he sold drugs for a little while when he was younger, and he goes to a church that has a somewhat bizarre point of view on race. Personally, I don’t think the really big bomb about his life has been dropped yet. That will come later, if he becomes the Democrats’ real candidate.

Another problem for Hillary is that some of the people who have worked as political consultants for her husband deeply dislike and distrust both of them. Now these people are writing news commentaries that explain the Clintons’ strategy step by step, and why and how they use this or that method. When these methods are brought to light, and people understand them, they stop being effective. This is partly why Hillary has lost so much traction.

They think they need to do it. In the first place, McCain has enough appeal to independent voters and to many Democrats that many political experts believe that he could easily beat both Hillary and Obama. This is why they’re trying to ruin his reputation. Maybe they’ll eventually find some scandal, and maybe they won’t. They just haven’t found one yet.

Another factor is that in the 1990s, the Clintons introduced a particular style of dirty attack politics that has been the Democratic Party’s method ever since, so in some sense they’re doing it just because that’s what they are in the habit of doing.

“I don’t think the really big bomb about his life has been dropped yet. That will come later, if he becomes the Democrats’ real candidate.”

What does this mean by that?
You mean that Obama might be assassinated if he become the candidate
like some mystery novelist predicted the othre day?

I don’t know much about McCain but he is old and he seems to like war.
Last speech I heard, he plans to give beneits to those veterans who served many wars US waged, so he is supported by those who will be tangibly benefited from him. On the other hand, Obama attracts many people who do not expect any tangible benefit from him but support him because simply inspired by his speech, his highter idealism. I think it’s not bad.
He might not have detaild paln for many problems US are facing now,
or some other candidates might have better ideas for them however
the important thing is not just experience but ability how to get
people involved to get things done. He can appoint a right person for the right job if he is not good at the job. I think that is what president should do.

Obama seems to have totally different mind set from old politicians have.
Also, he has a unique background which helps him to unerstand better about different cultures and people, I think he can find a better solution how to get along with not only freinds but also with enemies too.

NO, NO, NO, NO! I meant that his opponents hadn’t brought out the big scandal that could bring his political career down.

McCain spent five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp being tortured and even having his bones broken. I rather doubt that he likes war. However, he does believe in national defense and that the free world needs to oppose people who want to destroy or subjugate it. There are times when only a good military defense is effective in stopping a threat. Look what happened in World War II, when no one opposed the Germans and the Japanese militarily for so long. It cost more lives that stopping them early would have.

You see, you’re only reading American media from one side of the political spectrum. Obama has PLENTY of supporters who expect a tangible benefit from him. These include trial lawyers, who get rich from various types of lawsuits; businesses and labor unions that would benefit financially from having the government take over all healthcare; the leaders of teachers’ unions whose money and power would be threatened by real reform of the education system. He also takes money and gets support from the abortion industry, military contractors and other groups that will expect tangible favors if he becomes president. No politician is clean of that kind of thing, and Obama isn’t even cleaner than average in that regard.

Yes, but is he even experienced enough to know what the right job is and who the best person is? I’m skeptical.

Obama has said he wants us to bomb the part of Pakistan that borders on Afghanistan. In contrast, President Bush relies on diplomacy and cooperation with the Pakistani government to deal with our problems there. Who sounds more sensitive to other cultures and to our enemies?

I heard a famous political expert say that, “Obama is the youngest candidate with the oldest program.” He’s the politics of the 1960s left, but just with a new face.

Jamie, what do you think is the percentage of US citizens who know the programs of each of the presidential candidates. It seems to me that a lot of people choose politicians because of their charisma and manetism rather than their programs. As for Bush, he might rely on diplomacy but so did other presidents before him and it seems that Obama is quite capable of diplomacy too.

If Bush were such a great diplomat he would not have been promoting the slogan “War on Terror”.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: How come I wasn’t told about the plan?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Sounds like you know what is the big scandal of Obama which kills him politically.
If he had such a big problem, Hirally would have found it by now
since she has desperately been looking for ways to put him down, I think.

I didn’t say that Obama is supported by only pure-minded people, of course
there might be tons of people who is looking for tangible benefit from him.
I just said Obama’s supporters seems to consider the nation rather than
just look for individual’s interest. I read an article written by a university student
who supports Obama, she said that she really feels US need to be united not divided.
Obama is the only person who can do it.
She does not talk about her own benefits but benefits of the nation.

Did you see how many people Obama has attracted since the election started?
There are so many people who had never been interested in politics before
and never voted before, they came to the rally and voted for him for the first time!
If you see his ability to do so, you will know it’ not so difficult for him
to get some good advise from experienced people when he become a president.
He really has power to inspire and unite people together.

About Pakistan, I think US used the former president of Pakistan, Bhutto
to fight against terrorists in the end.
US should have protected her when Musharraf did not do it.
US knew that she was in great danger.
What Obama is saying is that he will fights against terrorism
to protect those who cooperate with US on the war of terror
but at the same time he says he will talk to terrorists too,
he does not say that military force is the only solution.

In what context did you hear Obama use the phrase “war on terror” and when and where did he say that he will “talk to terrorists”?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: When will the sale start?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

Well, he didn’t use the phrase exactly but he said
that he would get out of Iraq and onto Afghanistan and Pakistan
to destroy the stronghold of the terrorist.
When I heard this, I thought if US would have done it earlier,
then Bhutto could have been protected from the terrorist.

And he did not say the words “he will talk to terrorists”
but when he was talking with Hirally about Cuba at one of
the televised debates, he exactly said;
“America has to talk with its enemies not just with its friends.”
So I think he will be a president who does not try to solve problems
only with weapons like Bush.

This is one of articles I read; … -pakistan/

This stuff usually comes out bit by bit, and they save the biggest scandal for what is called an “October surprise”. Elections are held on the first Tuesday in November, so the October surprise is supposed to change the outcome of an election for the party that uses it.

The most recent have been in Ohio, where he’s promising to fix people’s mortgages. There’s been a problem in the US where in the past few years a small minority of home buyers took out loans they couldn’t pay back and bought houses that they couldn’t afford. Maybe they could have afforded different houses, but they couldn’t afford these expensive houses, and they have defaulted. Obama is offering these people the opportunity to violate their loan contracts and will tax the rest of the American people, including those who pay their mortgages, in order to get the money. It’s not fair, but that’s what he’s offering.

Which candidate’s supporters DON’T do that? They all do, but they disagree on what the nation needs and how it should be done.

Even Obama can’t unify the country, because it’s impossible. Here is a wise quote from a very intelligent columnist named Dennis Prager:

It’s worthwhile to read the whole article: … _they_seem

Phoo, I don’t want to insult you, but you seem to believe everything good that anyone says about Obama, without an ounce of skepticism. That’s not healthy when dealing with ANY politician. If Obama has the power to inspire people and unite them together, then the nation would be united behind him. It’s not.

Explain to me how the US should have infiltrated the crowd where she was killed and prevented that. Do you think the US can just send police into some Pakistani city and run the whole show? Besides, one of the attempts on her life involved passing her a real, live baby rigged with explosives! She didn’t take the baby, and it exploded! How should the US have gotten into the crowd and protected her against people who will even plan to murder a baby in order to kill her?

Terrorist groups usually use talking as a stalling tactic while they prepare for more attacks.

I know the European media like to depict American voters as stupid and unable to make electoral decisions. They even deliberately choose obviously stupid people to interview in order to make that point. However, most Americans walking down the street know enough about the candidates so that they can make some kind of informed decision, whether the European media elite agree with it or not. They can listen to several debates every election season, they can read and watch the news, and the candidates’ platforms are discussed all day and night on the radio. There’s plenty of information, and most people know enough to make at least a minorly informed decision.

Obama is capable of diplomacy, but he’s not experienced enough to be capable of making sound judgments. We’ve already had that type of president in Jimmy Carter, and most of the problems the nation is fighting today were originally caused by him.

Do you think it would have made the terrorists any nicer if he had called them “our friends Al-Qaeda”? Kindness and diplomacy didn’t seem to change Hitler much. In fact, it made him more aggressive. What’s your point?

Obama will reward people who’ve made poor financial decisions by taxing the hell out of those who generally don’t.

At this point it looks like McCain should get most of the moderate votes – he is a moderate repub, while the dems have once again sent a candidate who is of the Marx School of Wallet Control… which makes him unpalatable to most most Americans. The repub smear machine won’t have to get personal; they just need to photoshop him into a picture of Red Square and that will be it.

Hell, Kerry was more moderate than Obama is, and Bush beat him.

My point is this: Bush called himself “a war president” who “makes decisions in foreign policy matters with war on his mind”. Do you think that you can fight terrorism with war? Terrorists use war as their justification for terrorism. Many people either don’t have access to all the background information on world politics or they don’t have enough interest to educate themselves properly. However, what most people do want to have is an OPINION on world politics. And they base their opinion on slogans and phrases.

And do you think that Al-Qaeda and suicide bombers will stop their activities because Bush has declared himself as “the war president”?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: Do you know why the flight is delayed?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Obama didn’t say he is going to talk to “terrorists”. He said he would establish diplomatic relations with countries like Cuba.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: How long will the special promotion last?[YSaerTTEW443543]