At least when the National Enquirer prints unsubstantiated garbage, they go with new stories, MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued today on the Fox News Channel. Bozell was referring to the New York Times publishing a front page article on a 10-year old rumor regarding presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and lobbyist Vicki Iseman.
Below is an excerpt from MRC president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell's February 21 "America's Pulse" appearance on the Fox News Channel:
BRENT BOZELL, MRC president: You know, E.D., the New York Times is giving the National Enquirer a bad name. Think about this. You know, at least when the National Enquirer publishes a story with completely unsubstantiated facts based wholly on anonymous sources, dealing with the possibility of the appearance of impropriety, at least it's a new story. But the New York Times did today was all that about a story that's 10 years old. I've never seen anything like it in my life.
E.D. HILL, host: That lends itself to another question. They had four reporters working on this. Working on it for months. And as you say, it goes back to a story that has been out there from a decade ago. Is it surprising, if you have a story that's true, that you can't find between four reporters and months of research one person to go on record saying anything specific happened?
BOZELL: Let's go back. Ten years ago it wasn't a story. Ten years ago it was gossip. It was gossip that was reported. It doesn't make it newsworthy 10 years ago. Ten years later it's that much less newsworthy. And you made the exact point. If they've got all these super sleuths working on it -- and by their own admission in the story there is no one, absolutely no one to confirm this gossip - how in the world did it merit being on page one?.... E.D., you and I don't line our bird cages with this kind of stuff!
BOZELL: "I think you can point to the fact that the bottom line is falling apart and they're looking for something to get headlines."