Count Fox News's Chris Wallace in the group that believes the New York Times recent hit piece about John McCain might end up helping the GOP presidential candidate woo disgruntled conservatives in time for this November's elections.
Wouldn't it be just exquisitely delicious irony if it turned out the Times spent 3,000 words to diminish McCain's candidacy only to end up furthering it?
According to Wallace, who was interviewed Thursday by WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, such is definitely possible (11-minute audio available here):
If there is one thing that is going to convince conservatives that maybe John McCain is one of them it's the fact that he's getting trashed by the New York Times. In fact, one of the things, and I don't have to tell you this, that conservatives held against McCain, is that they felt that he was too chummy with the mainstream media. He was too close to the networks, and the New York Times, and in fact people used to say that his identification should be instead of "R-Arizona" should be "R-Media." That, that the media, the mainstream media was his real constituency. So, I think that this in a funny way could end up helping not hurting John McCain.
Heeheehee. Earlier, Wallace rendered his opinion about the article in question:
My take on it is, and I've been an investigative reporter for most of my career, is that, that it's thin. I mean, there are stories you read and you say, "Man, they have got it. They have got it cold." And there's stories you read that you say, "There's not much there." And there sure doesn't seem to be enough here to be a front-page story in the New York Times, or any place else.
First of all, we're talking about a story that happened nine years ago in 1999 when McCain was running for president the first time. It says that his staff was concerned about the fact that he was hanging out a lot with this very attractive, at least from the pictures, young lobbyist named Vicki Iseman, and that they told him and her to stay away from each other. You know, I don't know that that's much of a story there...It just is a thin story.
At this point, this seems to be the consensus view of most journalists willing to be impartial on the subject.
On an unrelated note, as the interview progressed, Malzberg asked Wallace about all the media fawning over Fidel Castro. With that in mind, readers are highly encouraged to fast-forward to minute 9:00 where they'll be treated to a marvelous story about Castro visiting the United Nations about ten or fifteen years ago.
A press luncheon was held for the Cuban dictator at which all matter of media member were in attendance including Wallace's father Mike. At one point, Mike asked Castro a question about education policy. Fidel rambled on for 40 minutes. So, Wallace just left the event before it concluded.
Later, father told son, "He's the biggest windbag I ever saw in my life. I mean, he's the biggest bore."
Chris marvelously finished: "The Wallaces have never drunk the Kool-Aid on Fidel Castro!"