Accuracy in Media

The New York Times last week sunk to a new low in its biased coverage of the presidential
campaign, personally attacking Sen. John McCain’s wife, Cindy, in an October 17
article with the headline, “Behind McCain, Outsider in Capital Wanting Back

In the article, authors Jodi Kantor and David M. Halbfinger
focused on personal issues such as Cindy McCain’s miscarriages, her past
addiction to painkillers, her wealth, and her difficulty fitting in with the Washington crowd.

The Times also
questioned Mrs. McCain’s honesty and integrity, asserting that her statements
in interviews seem “questionable,” and recounting her role in the
decades-old Keating Five affair.

In addition, the article alluded to a Times story from earlier this year that baselessly implied that
Sen. McCain had an inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist – a report that
the Times‘ own public editor criticized as “wrong.”

The Times‘ story
on Cindy McCain is wrong for two important reasons.

First, the story is a blatant attempt to smear and embarrass
a person who is not even running for public office.  Politics is a tough business, but candidates’
families should be off limits.

Second, if the Times lacks the decency to avoid dragging candidates’ families through the mud, then
it should apply the same rules to both sides in the campaign.  Mrs. Obama and Sen. Obama’s other family
members have been spared from this type of “reporting.”

A Pattern of Bias

This is not the first example of The New York Times taking sides in its reporting on the
presidential campaign.

For example, last month the Times alleged that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis had close
lobbying ties to Freddie Mac, but never reported on the relationship between
the Obama campaign’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, and his consulting and
lobbying clients.

Also, in July the Times refused to publish an op-ed by Sen. McCain about Iraq just days after publishing an
op-ed on the same subject by Sen. Obama. The Times‘ op-ed editor, a former staff member in the Clinton administration, said he wanted
something from Sen. McCain that “mirrors Senator Obama’s piece.”

The Times has
repeatedly allowed Sen. Obama to set the rules for debating important issues
like Iraq,
showing that the newspaper is a partisan publication that wants Sen. Obama to
win the election.

Call to Action

I firmly believe that the answer to the problem of media
bias lies with the American people. The media are central to the democratic
process and I want to help the American people become educated consumers of
media and make their voices heard by holding news outlets accountable to the
highest journalistic standards.

By focusing our attention on one media outlet per week, we can
have a far greater impact in effecting significant change.  We can make a big difference if thousands of
concerned citizens join together to show they won’t tolerate media bias.

To that end, if you share my concern about The New York Times’ latest example of
bias, please take a moment out of your day to voice your opinion by contacting
the individuals below.  You can also
voice your displeasure by participating in the boycott of The New York Times, led by Accuracy
in Media.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.


(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Bill Keller

Executive Editor

(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Andrew Rosenthal

Editorial Editor

(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


(212) 556-7652

229 West 43rd

New York,
NY 10036

Ready to fight back against media bias?
Join us by donating to AIM today.


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