07 October 2008

Letter to the New York Times

In the article "Campaigns Shift to Attack Modes on Eve of Debate," Adam Nagourney suggests that the Obama and McCain campaigns are engaging in similar kinds of tactics.

This is not, in fact, the case: Palin is smearing Obama with innuendo in her claims of his association with Bill Ayers, ignoring the parts of the Times article on their acquaintance that refute such claims.

The Obama campaign's advertising referring to McCain as one of the "Keating Five" involved in a 1989 ethics scandal, on the other hand, is fact; the investigators concluded that he had exercised poor judgment in his role in the scandal. As a candidate for president, his ability to exercise good judgment is, well, crucial.

Your writers should make clear the distinction between the smear tactics of the McCain campaign and the legitimate attacks of the Obama campain, rather than hiding behind supposed "objectivity" in making it look as though both campaigns are up to the same kinds of tactics. McCain's people won't like it? Doesn't change your responsibility to the truth.

Heide Estes
Manhattan