Steve Schmidt, a senior advisor for John McCain, attacked The New York Times today. He said, among other things, that the Times is “an organization that is completely, totally 150 percent in the tank for the Democratic candidate, which is their prerogative to be.” And that “whatever the New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization.”
All rather typical stuff from Camp McCain. Michael Calderone reached out to Bill Keller, and, in a sober response, the Times’ executive editor didn’t take Schmidt’s bait:
"The New York Times is committed to covering the candidates fully, fairly and aggressively. It’s our job to ask hard questions, fact-check their statements and their advertising, examine their programs, positions, biographies and advisors. Candidates and their campaign operatives are not always comfortable with that level of scrutiny, but it’s what our readers expect and deserve."
Times politics editor Dick Stevenson told Calderone in an earlier interview: "I understand that for them we’re a prop. We’re a foil that they can use for their purposes. It has zero effect on the way we cover their campaign."