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'NYT' Double Standard on IDing Sources on McCain 'Surge' Statement?

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'NYT' Double Standard on IDing Sources on McCain 'Surge' Statement?

Article excerpt

Apart from Sen. Barack Obama's trip abroad, the top political campaign story of the past two days has been the accuracy of a claim by Sen. John McCain concerning the "surge" in Iraq, which he supported from the start and Obama did not. McCain accused Obama of not knowing his history on this subject -- but Obama forces and some media outlets quickly charged that it was McCain whose account of the timing of the "Anbar awakening" was false.

It then became a TV story when it was revealed that CBS had edited an interview with McCain on this subject, substituting his answer to the key question (where he allegedly got his facts wrong) with his reply to another one (an attack on Obama). It's all out there online to find, if you wish.

But The New York Times' summary today, in seeking balancing quotes, did not reveal the background of its key pro-McCain source.

Reporter Michael Cooper, halfway through the recounting, wrote, "The National Security Network, a liberal foreign policy group, called Mr. McCain's explanation of the surge's history 'completely wrong. …

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