Iseman Suit Settled; Times Pays Nothing, Prints Statement


Last February the Times said John McCain and Vicki Iseman had a “the appearance of a close bond” and “some of the senator’s advisers had grown so concerned that the relationship had become romantic that they took steps to intervene”; some of these advisers were “instructed to keep Ms. Iseman away from the senator at public events, while a Senate aide recalled plans to limit Ms. Iseman’s access to his offices”; two of them said that “McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman.” McCain and his people said it was all bullshit.

On this Iseman built a defamation complaint, which has been settled out of court. The paper pays no money and prints no retraction, but puts a statement from Iseman’s lawyers in its online edition (“Words have extraordinary power to wreak havoc on the life of a human being”), along with its own note (“The article did not state, and The Times did not intend to conclude”) and response (“We stand by our coverage, and we are proud of it”).

And this is what the hopes (“I hope she rams this down Keller’s throat”), dreams (“the Times’ complicity in the election of a completely unqualified socialist to the highest office in the land should be worth well in excess of $27 million”), wishes (“Reap what you sow, NYT!”), prayers (“hopefully the Times will be held accountable for their actions”), predictions (“they might want to get their checkbooks out early and try to settle”), fantasies (“the risk this suit poses to the reputation of the Times and the reporter-defendants is incalculable”), and retroactive hilarity (“Of course the Times could settle with Iseman [assuming she would cooperate] but in this instance that would be tantamount to an admission of guilt on the paper’s part”) of many rightbloggers has come to.

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