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).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 08, 2016
John W. Whitehead
Power to the People: John Lennon’s Legacy Lives On
Mike Whitney
Rolling Back the Empire: Washington’s Proxy-Army Faces Decisive Defeat in Aleppo
Ellen Brown
“We’ll Look at Everything:” More Thoughts on Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
John Stauber
The Rise and Fall of Obamacare: Will the Inside Story Ever be Told?
Ted Rall
Ameri-Splaining
Michael J. Sainato
Mainstream Media Continues Absolving Itself From Clinton, Trump Election Failures
Ralph Nader – Mark Green
Divest or Face Impeachment: an Open Letter to Donald Trump
Gareth Porter
US Airstrikes on Syrian Troops: Report Data Undermine Claim of “Mistake”
Martha Burke
What Trumponomics Means for Women
Ramzy Baroud
Fatah, Hold Your Applause: Palestinian Body Politic Rotten to the Core
Steve Horn
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General Pick, Introduced First Bill Exempting Fracking from Drinking Water Rules
Joe Ware
The Big Shift: Why Banks Need to Stop Investing Our Money Into Fossil Fuels
Juliana Barnet
On the Ground at Standing Rock
Franklin Lamb
Aleppo Update: An Inspiring Return to the Bombed Out National Museum
Steve Kelly
Hidden Harmony: on the Perfection of Forests
December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba After Fidel
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewal of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail