Guilt by association, that's the trick that the AP just pulled on the wife of GOP presidential candidate John McCain. In a story about the non-story du jour, AP writer Libby Quaid has placed Cindy McCain in with jilted political wives of the likes of Hillary Clinton, Suzanne Craig, Dina McGreevey, and Carlita Kilpatrick. They even reached back into the graveyard of political careers and dug up Lee Hart, wife of Donna Rice's paramour Gary Hart.
The AP got all weepy eyed over how Cindy McCain "did not hesitate" to step forward to take "her place in the history of political wives who stood by their men in the face of rumored or alleged marital infidelity." The AP then states her first lines as "Well, obviously I'm disappointed." AP thinks this is interesting because, "A coterie of wives has confronted the public pain of such an accusation. Smaller still is the band who, like Cindy McCain, have spoken out."
As the AP begins the story, you'd think that John McCain is exactly the same as Bill Clinton or Gary Hart... in other words guilty of screwin' around on his wife. Even the way they quote Cindy McCain could be taken as that she is "disappointed" in her husband if the reader stops there!
Then the AP's writer details the trials and tribulations of Hillary Clinton who's husband, Bill, "did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica." Quaid tells us how Hillary stood firm beside her man, just like Cindy McCain.
And then they give us a list of other recently jilted political wives.
- Suzanne Craig stood silently as her husband, Larry, denied last summer that he had propositioned a man in the stall of an airport bathroom. Her expression was obscured by large sunglasses.
- Louisiana Rep. David Vitter apologized last summer after being linked to a Washington escort service. As reporters demanded to know whether he had any sexual relationship, his wife, Wendy, seized the podium, calling her husband "my best friend" and saying that forgiveness "is the right choice for me." Ironically, Wendy Vitter had predicted years ago that she would act more like knife-wielding Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary Clinton if her husband strayed.
- Carlita Kilpatrick, seated next to her husband, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, touched his knee as he publicly apologized to his family amid a scandal over intimate and sexually explicit text messages involving him and his top aide. "Yes, I am angry, I am hurt, and I am disappointed. But there is no question that I love my husband."
- Dina Matos McGreevey stood, obviously shell-shocked, next to her husband, then-Gov. McGreevey, as he announced in 2004 he was "a gay American" and would resign. He said later he stepped down rather than succumb to a $50 million blackmail threat from a male former lover. She wrote a tell-all book after they divorced.
- Lee Hart, after husband Gary Hart was linked to model Donna Rice during his presidential campaign, insisted to reporters in 1987: "When Gary says nothing happened, nothing happened."
Next the AP gives us the dubious analysis of one Stanley Renshon, who's equally dubious expertise is "political psychologist" at City University of New York. Renshon says:
"The allegation of infidelity is still a powerful allegation, and it remains powerful because it's about trust and responsibility, the idea that if you're cheating on your spouse, what can we expect of you in the presidency," he said.
But, wait. There is one major distinction between Cindy McCain and all these other long-suffering wives. THEIR husbands were GUILTY of infidelity!
For the AP to place Cindy McCain, for whom there isn't a shred of proof is married to a cheating husband, is quite misleading. The other wives that the AP mentioned stood beside husbands who they knew were cheaters, liars, and cads. Yet, Cindy McCain is standing next to her husband who is innocent of those charges as far as anyone can tell.
Even the original New York Times story detailing the tale of John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman does not come right out and say that there was a sexual relationship between the two, only that McCain's aides worried about the impression that there was such a relationship. And, if this story has not come out and been proven in the 8 years that everyone has known about it, doesn't that say something about how important this story is?
No, this is an absurd grouping of one wife married to an innocent man and a bunch of suffering wives married to serial cheaters. But, the AP had no problem with lumping Cindy McCain among wives of guilty husbands. It's bad enough that the McCain/Iseman story is all smoke and no fire in the first place, but for the AP to go after Cindy McCain like this is really is beyond the pale.
H/T newsbuster Sterling