The story John McCain did not want you to read

John McCain fought with the New York Times to stop it from printing this story, such is his sense of privacy for his family, but what it shows is very much to his credit. His son, a Lance Corporal of the Marines, who rejects all special treatment, and is fighting in Iraq is a hero. I think some people assumed the story would reveal some deep, dark secret and would be harmful to McCain’s candidacy, such was the ferocity with which he asked the editors not to print it. That he didn’t want information out that would help him because he would rather keep his son out of the spotlight is commendable.

It’s so commendable, I don’t want to violate his privacy either. But the story is in the New York Times, so it’s pretty much out. I’ll link it.

HT: Nathan Martin

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    The son has returned from Iraq, according to the article, and is now at Camp Pendleton.
    Nonetheless, his father the Senator is to be commended. And The Times didn’t do too bad a job, except a very bad job of respecting the Senator’s wishes. Big surprise there. Chelsea gets to keep reporters at arms length–within her own country in a public campaign, no less–while a Marine’s privacy is probed, if not invaded.
    McCain walks the walk, no doubt.
    It so nearly negates all the problems I have with McCain (none of which will prevent my voting for him, and hoping he wins, so neither Clinton nor Obama can).

  • Susan aka organshoes

    The son has returned from Iraq, according to the article, and is now at Camp Pendleton.
    Nonetheless, his father the Senator is to be commended. And The Times didn’t do too bad a job, except a very bad job of respecting the Senator’s wishes. Big surprise there. Chelsea gets to keep reporters at arms length–within her own country in a public campaign, no less–while a Marine’s privacy is probed, if not invaded.
    McCain walks the walk, no doubt.
    It so nearly negates all the problems I have with McCain (none of which will prevent my voting for him, and hoping he wins, so neither Clinton nor Obama can).

  • WebMonk

    An earlier post was talking about the possible reticence and silence from McCain about religious topics. This might be an indicator of how he treats most anything private, and might reflect on how he communicates (or doesn’t) about his personal beliefs.

  • WebMonk

    An earlier post was talking about the possible reticence and silence from McCain about religious topics. This might be an indicator of how he treats most anything private, and might reflect on how he communicates (or doesn’t) about his personal beliefs.

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  • http://anastasias-corner.blogspot.com Anastasia Theodoridis

    Mr. McCain’s reticence may also have been an attemp to protect his son, just as England’s Royal Family tried to protect Prince Harry’s live by not drawing insurgents’ attention to his presence.

  • http://anastasias-corner.blogspot.com Anastasia Theodoridis

    Mr. McCain’s reticence may also have been an attemp to protect his son, just as England’s Royal Family tried to protect Prince Harry’s live by not drawing insurgents’ attention to his presence.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan, what are you talking about when you say (@1) that “Chelsea gets to keep reporters at arms length — within her own country in a public campaign, no less”?

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan, what are you talking about when you say (@1) that “Chelsea gets to keep reporters at arms length — within her own country in a public campaign, no less”?

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Chelsea Clinton’s ‘No questions’ request gets honored, even as a spokesperson for her mother’s campaign for public office, and in public settings, where plenty of press is trailing along.
    McCain pleads that his son’s privacy be shielded while his son is functioning in his personal vocation, apart from his father’s campaign, but that’s not honored.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Chelsea Clinton’s ‘No questions’ request gets honored, even as a spokesperson for her mother’s campaign for public office, and in public settings, where plenty of press is trailing along.
    McCain pleads that his son’s privacy be shielded while his son is functioning in his personal vocation, apart from his father’s campaign, but that’s not honored.

  • WebMonk

    Um, Susan, you might have missed a couple of interviews that Chelsea has done, a couple of which were pretty darned invasive, such as one where the interviewer started asking her questions about what it was like while her dad was going through the whole Lewinski scandal.

    Personally, I think that was muckraking more than news, but the press hasn’t been very hands-off at all with Chelsea.

  • WebMonk

    Um, Susan, you might have missed a couple of interviews that Chelsea has done, a couple of which were pretty darned invasive, such as one where the interviewer started asking her questions about what it was like while her dad was going through the whole Lewinski scandal.

    Personally, I think that was muckraking more than news, but the press hasn’t been very hands-off at all with Chelsea.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    They accepted her answer ‘None of your business.’
    but that wasn’t the press asking, but a member of her audience.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    They accepted her answer ‘None of your business.’
    but that wasn’t the press asking, but a member of her audience.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan, I’m sorry, but I still don’t see the comparison. Chelsea is intentionally refusing to answer reporters’ questions — the media is not treating her deferentially, much less “honoring” her request. Some stories make it clear that the reporters are frustrated by her policy, but they can’t make her answer questions — she even snubbed a 9-year-old kid reporter! You can’t blame the media for Chelsea’s actions.

    This is exactly the same as McCain being asked questions for the article mentioned above. He, too, refused to answer those questions, and the media couldn’t do anything about it.

    But it makes no sense to argue that, on the one hand, this one article constitutes “a Marine’s privacy [being] probed, if not invaded,” while on the other hand, complaining that the media is being kept at “arm’s length” and “honoring” Chelsea Clinton’s requests, when they’ve written thousands of articles about her (in 2008, according to Google news search)!

    And while it’s true that the article was run against McCain’s wishes, it’s not true that they completely failed to shield his privacy, either, as the article points out.

  • http://www.cockahoop.com/ tODD

    Susan, I’m sorry, but I still don’t see the comparison. Chelsea is intentionally refusing to answer reporters’ questions — the media is not treating her deferentially, much less “honoring” her request. Some stories make it clear that the reporters are frustrated by her policy, but they can’t make her answer questions — she even snubbed a 9-year-old kid reporter! You can’t blame the media for Chelsea’s actions.

    This is exactly the same as McCain being asked questions for the article mentioned above. He, too, refused to answer those questions, and the media couldn’t do anything about it.

    But it makes no sense to argue that, on the one hand, this one article constitutes “a Marine’s privacy [being] probed, if not invaded,” while on the other hand, complaining that the media is being kept at “arm’s length” and “honoring” Chelsea Clinton’s requests, when they’ve written thousands of articles about her (in 2008, according to Google news search)!

    And while it’s true that the article was run against McCain’s wishes, it’s not true that they completely failed to shield his privacy, either, as the article points out.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    You and I never fail to disagree on media bias. So be it.
    I see a great bias in the treatment of Chelsea Clinton. Granted, the press grumbles at her inaccessibility. But they don’t ask the questions the audiences are getting stiff-armed over. They’re not asking about the relationship between Monica Lewinsky and Hillary’s forebearance (which is the relationship between Bill Clinton’s adultery and Hillary’s determination to win the Presidency). It’s citizens asking.
    It may not have been only his son’s privacy and safety McCain meant to protect, but McCain himself, from accusations that he was using his son’s service in his own self-interest. ‘Pimping him out’ so to speak.
    We don’t see Chelsea relaxing with her friends, or see where she lives or see her walking her dog–we get next to nothing about what Chelsea does beyond say good things aobut her mother. When she refuses to say more–and rather insistently–there’s a little grumbling, maybe, but no further probing.
    Lots of video of lots of events she’s visited was made by audience members with camcorders and cellphones or campus equipment, because when she says to the press ‘No cameras, no mics,’ that’s what happens. She’s treated more like royalty.
    It’s the Clinton way.
    Just because the press grumbles, or decides to splash some headline that calls a Clinton into question doesn’t mean they’re probing the Clintons. The press leaves more untouched about them than it touches; it only sniper-fires here and there. Mere flashes; more heat than light.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    You and I never fail to disagree on media bias. So be it.
    I see a great bias in the treatment of Chelsea Clinton. Granted, the press grumbles at her inaccessibility. But they don’t ask the questions the audiences are getting stiff-armed over. They’re not asking about the relationship between Monica Lewinsky and Hillary’s forebearance (which is the relationship between Bill Clinton’s adultery and Hillary’s determination to win the Presidency). It’s citizens asking.
    It may not have been only his son’s privacy and safety McCain meant to protect, but McCain himself, from accusations that he was using his son’s service in his own self-interest. ‘Pimping him out’ so to speak.
    We don’t see Chelsea relaxing with her friends, or see where she lives or see her walking her dog–we get next to nothing about what Chelsea does beyond say good things aobut her mother. When she refuses to say more–and rather insistently–there’s a little grumbling, maybe, but no further probing.
    Lots of video of lots of events she’s visited was made by audience members with camcorders and cellphones or campus equipment, because when she says to the press ‘No cameras, no mics,’ that’s what happens. She’s treated more like royalty.
    It’s the Clinton way.
    Just because the press grumbles, or decides to splash some headline that calls a Clinton into question doesn’t mean they’re probing the Clintons. The press leaves more untouched about them than it touches; it only sniper-fires here and there. Mere flashes; more heat than light.

  • Joe

    To me the issue goes back to the Clinton White House hands off Chelsea policy. Remeber that while Bill was president he asked the press to not cover anything regarding Chelsea. The press agreed. I have no problem with that. But now the press (or at least the NYT) is not honoring McCain’s request to not run a story about his son, that may actually put people in danger during a war. I am not saying there is a bias, but there seems to be a lack of consistency that comes without any explanation. I would like an explanation from the NYT. Maybe the explanation is that Lance Corporal McCain is an adult, not a teenager so the policy is different. But so far there has been no explanation.

  • Joe

    To me the issue goes back to the Clinton White House hands off Chelsea policy. Remeber that while Bill was president he asked the press to not cover anything regarding Chelsea. The press agreed. I have no problem with that. But now the press (or at least the NYT) is not honoring McCain’s request to not run a story about his son, that may actually put people in danger during a war. I am not saying there is a bias, but there seems to be a lack of consistency that comes without any explanation. I would like an explanation from the NYT. Maybe the explanation is that Lance Corporal McCain is an adult, not a teenager so the policy is different. But so far there has been no explanation.

  • The Jones

    This doesn’t really bother me all that much, but it does make me feel better about John McCain. The story is not damaging to McCain’s son in any way, I don’t believe. The story makes McCain look better by showing that McCain is humble enough not to want it to be run. The story makes McCain look even better by being good AND being resisted by McCain. Humility and bravery.

  • The Jones

    This doesn’t really bother me all that much, but it does make me feel better about John McCain. The story is not damaging to McCain’s son in any way, I don’t believe. The story makes McCain look better by showing that McCain is humble enough not to want it to be run. The story makes McCain look even better by being good AND being resisted by McCain. Humility and bravery.

  • susan aka organshoes

    Agreed Jones.

  • susan aka organshoes

    Agreed Jones.


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