Fortunately, one Lefty blogger - Greg Sargent - stopped to think about what they were making a fuss about...Let's try a little experiment. Let's take the meat of the big New York Times story and substitute the words "Dem Presidential Hopeful" for "John McCain" [...] If these words had appeared on the front page of The New York Times, wouldn't we all be yelling and stamping our feet about "panty sniffing" and condemning the use of anonymous sources who suggest a possible affair that may or may not have happened and wasn't directly alleged by anyone?The answer is "Yes, the Left would." Come on, do you even need to ask? Am I the only one who remembers...
That's a sincere question. Wouldn't we?
- ...2004, when John Kerry was accused of having an affair.
- ...2007, when John Edwards was accused of having an affair.
In both cases, the Leftosphere was apoplectic. Media Matters ran multiple attacks on anybody who dared to discuss the 2007 allegations. Slate and Mickey Kaus were attacked by Lefty bloggers for mentioning the story, with some even pushing to have Kaus fired. In both 2004 and 2007, the Leftosphere was outraged - outraged, I tell you! - that people would cover these "sleazy whispering campaign" allegations.
Today, they're covering the vague allegations. Enthusiastically.
So this is the pattern:
- Thinly-sourced, unconfirmed 2004 rumor that a Democrat may have had an affair: the mainstream media won't cover it, and the Left bulldozes those who mention it.
- Thinly-sourced, unconfirmed 2007 rumor that a Democrat may have had an affair: the mainstream media won't cover it, and the Left bulldozes those who mention it.
- Thinly-sourced, unconfirmed 2008 rumor that a Republican may have had an affair: Front page of the New York Times
UPDATE: Gabriel Sherman has more here (via Ann Althouse):
The publication of the article [on John McCain] capped three months of intense internal deliberations at the Times over whether to publish the negative piece and its most explosive charge about the affair. It pitted the reporters investigating the story, who believed they had nailed it, against executive editor Bill Keller, who believed they hadn't. It likely cost the paper one investigative reporter, who decided to leave in frustration