With Soros and company raising $40million for a smear campaign on John McCain it seems that the Washington Post is putting in an early bid for its share with its own dishonest smear job. I an article (front page) ‘A Question of Temperament,’ by Michael Leahy, an attempt to raise the hoary old story of a ‘vile temper’ is given another run, or at least hobble.
Interestingly in “The Corner” is an Email from a McCain aide Mark Salter who was quoted in the article giving his side of what happened in the interview.
Mark Salter says: -
Saw your post about the WP story on the McCain temper. If one half of it were true, it would give me pause. As it happens, the piece is 99% fiction. [Reporter Michael] Leahy is a nice guy, but the story was one of the more dishonest I've read in a while. I talked to him for over two hours.
Some of the instances, like the Bob Smith one, he never even raised with me so I could respond. For others, he declined to print my rebuttal. He used my quotes in ways that made them seem as if I were confirming his thesis when I insisted that McCain's temper is no greater than the average person's, and that I personally know 20 or 25 Senators with much worse tempers. He argues, sometimes heatedly, with his peers, but he doesn't hold grudges or pick on people subordinate to him.
If you want to tell what members of Congress have ungovernable tempers, you need only look at how rapidly their staffs turnover. As a twenty-year veteran Hill staffer, I can assure you that is the best indicator of which members have bad tempers. McCain's staff serve tenures well beyond the norm, because they are treated exceedingly well by him. …………….
When he asked me about Karen Johnson, who says McCain tried to block her from getting a job, I asked for details: what job; who did he call, when did it happen, etc. He said he couldn't give them to me because he had promised his source he wouldn't share those kind of details with McCain in advance of publication. Source didn't ask for her identity to be protected and didn't put the details off the record.
They all appeared in the story. I explained to Leahy that this was a very unusual form of confidentiality, that an incident that was given to him on the record could not be shared with the subject of the story so that we could provide an informed response. There is only one reason that a source would act for that kind of selectively targeted and temporary confidentiality, to deny us the ability to disprove the story, which we could have done in ten minutes.
The story consists of old news rehashed, I mean an argument with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) from 1992, concerning prisoners of war “most notably whether any American servicemen were still being held by the Vietnamese.” Seriously, in all fairness the man was tortured in a POW camp for 5 years, and a careless remark could justifiably upset anyone of that background. Conveniently WaPo doesn’t mention the actual issue.
Bob Smith claims "His temper would place this country at risk in international affairs, and the world perhaps in danger. In my mind, it should disqualify him." He later admits to not liking McCain very much, wow the stuff that comes up on slow news days.