…but evidently it’s another matter to take the speechwriter out of the editor.

The New York Times has refused to run an op-ed piece by Sen. John McCain, but the rejection came with some suggestions for how he might word it to merit publication.

“I’d be very eager to publish the senator on the op-ed
page. However, I’m not going to be able to accept this piece as
currently written. I’d be pleased, though, to look at another draft.
Let me suggest an approach,” Times op-ed editor David Shipley wrote the
campaign via an e-mail later distributed by McCain’s team.

“It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that
mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to
articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in
Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory
— with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis
to cooperate. And it would need to describe the Senator’s Afghanistan
strategy, spelling out how it meshes with his Iraq plan,” Shipley wrote.

So the ‘paper of record’ in America is telling one of the two
candidates for the US presidency what he must say to qualify for ‘all
the news that’s fit to print.’

McCain Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker took a pass.

“We think the American voter is smart enough to make the call on their own,” she said.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....