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Vicki Iseman, Lobbyist Linked to John McCain, Finally Sues 'NYT'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Vicki Iseman, Lobbyist Linked to John McCain, Finally Sues 'NYT'

Article excerpt

A Washington lobbyist is suing The New York Times over an article that she says gave the false impression she had an affair with Sen. John McCain in 1999.

Vicki L. Iseman filed the $27 million defamation suit in U.S. District Court in Richmond on Tuesday. It also names as defendants the Times' executive editor, its Washington bureau chief and four reporters.

Iseman represented telecommunications companies before the Senate Commerce Committee, which McCain chaired. In February, as McCain was seeking the Republican presidential nomination, the Times reported that McCain aides once worried the relationship between Iseman and McCain had turned romantic.

At the time, McCain denounced the story as false. Iseman also denied it later.

The Times article said that both McCain and Iseman denied any romantic relationship, but the lawsuit says most readers would find that obligatory.

"That The New York Times would make such aggressive and sensational allegations and insinuations in the face of on-the-record denials by Ms. Iseman and Senator McCain only reinforced the message to readers that The New York Times in fact believed that Ms. Iseman and Senator McCain had indeed engaged in an `inappropriate relationship,' a relationship that was romantic, unethical, and a conflict of interest," the lawsuit says. "Otherwise, reasonable readers would conclude, The New York Times would never have printed the story at all. …

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