FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Vicki’s John

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

All the attention in the breaking story about John McCain’s 2000 relationship with the 32-year old telecom lobbyist has been focused on the question of whether or not they were “doing it.”

But really, who cares whether they were shacking up on the campaign trail? McCain, after all, already double-timed his starter wife and dumped her for a trophy wife, the statuesque and wealthy beer industry heiress Cindy Hensley, so it’s not as though he is campaigning on a strong pro-family platform.

No, the reason his aides, back in 1998-2000, started working behind the scenes to keep Iseman away from McCain, and confronted McCain over the relationship was because McCain, who had a history of corruption, most notably his card-carrying membership in the Keating Five savings and loan scandal, couldn’t afford to appear to be backsliding.

The question is what he was delivering for her and her clients.

The Times’ article reports that McCain wrote letters in 1998 and 1999 to the Federal Communications Commission urging it to uphold marketing agreements that would allow TV companies like Glencairn Ltd., an Iseman client, to control two stations in the same city. The paper says the senator also introduced a measure in the Senate that would create tax incentives for minority ownership of stations, a measure sought by Iseman on behalf of several media clients. McCain also on two occasions reportedly pushed legislation that would permit a company to control television stations in overlapping markets. That was a measure being sought by Paxson (now Ion Media Networks), yet another Iseman client.

The Times reports that in 1999, Iseman asked Mr. McCain’s staff to send a letter to the FCC seeking approval of a television deal being sought by Paxon. McCain sent that letter, and a second one — a level of interference which led to a rebuke from the then FCC chairman.

The problem may be that what McCain was doing shilling for the telecom industry is not illegal, and is not uncommon. In fact, it’s what our legislators do. Virtually all of them. The only thing different about McCain is that he claims he doesn’t do that, at least not since he saw the light when he had a near political death experience after hitching his nascent congressional career to a corrupt banker’s wagon, in the Keating scandal, which finished off the careers of four of McCain’s senatorial colleagues and from which he escaped by the skin of his teeth.

Meanwhile, we see once again what a timid newspaper the New York Times is, at least when it comes to investigative stories about the Right. For over two months the paper held a significant political story during a critical election campaign. How different might the presidential campaign look now if the Times had run its story in December, when it was ready to go, well ahead of the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, instead of now when McCain has the Republican nomination all but sewn up?

This kind of dithering by the Times’ executive editor, Bill Keller, followed intense lobbying and threats by McCain and his campaign, and is reminiscent of Keller’s holding (for a year, and until after the 2006 Congressional election!) of a reporter’s story about the National Security Agency’s illegal warrantless spying program, and his holding and ultimately killing of an already typeset story (a week before the 2004 presidential election) about the remote cueing device on President George Bush’s back and in his ear during the 2004 presidential debates.

What other great stories is Keller hiding from us, perhaps until after Election Day this November?

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment“, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
Farzana Versey
Of Beyoncé, Trudeau and Culture Predators
Pete Dolack
Fanaticism and Fantasy Drive Purported TPP ‘Benefits’
Murray Dobbin
Canada and the TPP
Steve Horn
Army of Lobbyists Push LNG Exports, Methane Hydrates, Coal in Senate Energy Bill
Colin Todhunter
“Lies, Lies and More Lies” – GMOs, Poisoned Agriculture and Toxic Rants
Franklin Lamb
ISIS Erasing Our Cultural Heritage in Syria
David Mihalyfy
#realacademicbios Deserve Real Reform
Graham Peebles
Unjust and Dysfunctional: Asylum in the UK
Yves Engler
On Unions and Class Struggle
Alfredo Lopez
The ‘Bern’ and the Internet
Missy Comley Beattie
Super Propaganda
Ed Rampell
Great Caesar’s Ghost!: A Specter Haunts Hollywood in the Coen’s Anti-Anti-Commie Goofball Comedy
Cesar Chelala
The Public Health Impact of Domestic Violence
Ron Jacobs
Cold Weather Comforts of a Certain Sort
Charles Komanoff
On the Passing of the Jefferson Airplane
Charles R. Larson
Can One Survive the Holocaust?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail