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Thread: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

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    Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    A Washington lobbyist sued The New York Times for $27 million Tuesday over an article that she says gave the false impression she had an affair with Sen. John McCain in 1999.

    The newspaper stood by the story.

    Vicki L. Iseman filed the defamation suit in U.S. District Court in Richmond. It also names as defendants the Times' executive editor, its Washington bureau chief and four reporters.

    Iseman represented telecommunications companies before the Senate Commerce Committee, which McCain chaired. In February, as McCain was seeking the Republican presidential nomination, the Times reported that McCain aides once worried the relationship between Iseman and McCain had turned romantic.

    ...

    The Times maintained its defense of the story in a statement Tuesday.

    "We fully stand behind the article. We continue to believe it to be true and accurate, and that we will prevail," the statement said. "As we said at the time, it was an important piece that raised questions about a presidential contender and the perception that he had been engaged in conflicts of interest."

    Richmond lawyer W. Coleman Allen Jr., who represents Iseman, said she waited until after the presidential election to file the suit because she didn't want it to become a distraction.
    Hilarious. I hope she wins, that article was a load of ****.
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    Re: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    Holy crap, $27 mil? What does a guy have to do around here to get a major newspaper to accuse him of having an affair with John McCain? I want in on that action.

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    Re: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Hilarious. I hope she wins, that article was a load of ****.
    I hope she loses. Seriously.

    How do you know the article was a load of crap? Did you talk to the sources that the paper had?

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    Re: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    This damaged her health? When people say this crap, it makes me sick.

    I don't see how she can win this. If the NYT accurately reported that some of McCain's aides genuinely worried about their relationship, how is this defamation?

    This from the article:

    "That The New York Times would make such aggressive and sensational allegations and insinuations in the face of on-the-record denials by Ms. Iseman and Senator McCain only reinforced the message to readers that The New York Times in fact believed that Ms. Iseman and Senator McCain had indeed engaged in an `inappropriate relationship,' a relationship that was romantic, unethical, and a conflict of interest," the lawsuit says. "Otherwise, reasonable readers would conclude, The New York Times would never have printed the story at all."

    Hmmmm. What did they expect? That Iseman and McCain were going to openly state, "Yes, we had an affair." I would expect BOTH to adamantly deny the allegation. It doesn't help either person to admit they had an affair or even had feelings for each other.

    I hope the court dismisses the suit. Good for the Times for standing by the article.

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    Re: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    This damaged her health? When people say this crap, it makes me sick.

    I don't see how she can win this. If the NYT accurately reported that some of McCain's aides genuinely worried about their relationship, how is this defamation?
    If I'm not mistaken (and I'm sure that RightinNYC knows better than I do), the law holds that implying something false and damaging about another person is the same as explicitly stating it, as long as a reasonable person would draw the same conclusion.

    So even if the NYT never explicitly said "Iseman and McCain had an affair," they certainly implied it and that was certainly the impression that an average reader would've gotten from the article.

    Obviously $27 million is excessive, but it seems to me that she's entitled to something. Unless, of course, the Times can produce evidence that the affair actually happened.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 12-31-08 at 04:57 AM.
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    Re: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If I'm not mistaken (and I'm sure that RightinNYC knows better than I do), the law holds that implying something false and damaging about another person is the same as explicitly stating it, as long as a reasonable person would draw the same conclusion.

    So even if the NYT never explicitly said "Iseman and McCain had an affair," they certainly implied it and that was certainly the impression that an average reader would've gotten from the article.

    Obviously $27 million is excessive, but it seems to me that she's entitled to something. Unless, of course, the Times can produce evidence that the affair actually happened.
    He's in law school. I am a lawyer (and have been for more than 10 years). I will need to look this up.

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    Re: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    He's in law school. I am a lawyer (and have been for more than 10 years). I will need to look this up.
    From what law school did you graduate and where did you pass the bar?

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    Re: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If I'm not mistaken (and I'm sure that RightinNYC knows better than I do), the law holds that implying something false and damaging about another person is the same as explicitly stating it, as long as a reasonable person would draw the same conclusion.

    So even if the NYT never explicitly said "Iseman and McCain had an affair," they certainly implied it and that was certainly the impression that an average reader would've gotten from the article.

    Obviously $27 million is excessive, but it seems to me that she's entitled to something. Unless, of course, the Times can produce evidence that the affair actually happened.
    Here's the part of the article that discusses her:

    Concerns in a Campaign

    Mr. McCain’s confidence in his ability to distinguish personal friendships from compromising connections was at the center of questions advisers raised about Ms. Iseman.

    The lobbyist, a partner at the firm Alcalde & Fay, represented telecommunications companies for whom Mr. McCain’s commerce committee was pivotal. Her clients contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his campaigns.

    Mr. Black said Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman were friends and nothing more. But in 1999 she began showing up so frequently in his offices and at campaign events that staff members took notice. One recalled asking, “Why is she always around?”

    That February, Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman attended a small fund-raising dinner with several clients at the Miami-area home of a cruise-line executive and then flew back to Washington along with a campaign aide on the corporate jet of one of her clients, Paxson Communications. By then, according to two former McCain associates, some of the senator’s advisers had grown so concerned that the relationship had become romantic that they took steps to intervene.

    A former campaign adviser described being 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.

    In interviews, the two former associates said they joined in a series of confrontations with Mr. McCain, warning him that he was risking his campaign and career. Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman. The two associates, who said they had become disillusioned with the senator, spoke independently of each other and provided details that were corroborated by others.

    Separately, a top McCain aide met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station in Washington to ask her to stay away from the senator. John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, said in an e-mail message that he arranged the meeting after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about her.

    “Our political messaging during that time period centered around taking on the special interests and placing the nation’s interests before either personal or special interest,” Mr. Weaver continued. “Ms. Iseman’s involvement in the campaign, it was felt by us, could undermine that effort.”

    Mr. Weaver added that the brief conversation was only about “her conduct and what she allegedly had told people, which made its way back to us.” He declined to elaborate.

    It is not clear what effect the warnings had; the associates said their concerns receded in the heat of the campaign.

    Ms. Iseman acknowledged meeting with Mr. Weaver, but disputed his account.

    “I never discussed with him alleged things I had ‘told people,’ that had made their way ‘back to’ him,” she wrote in an e-mail message. She said she never received special treatment from Mr. McCain’s office.

    Mr. McCain said that the relationship was not romantic and that he never showed favoritism to Ms. Iseman or her clients. “I have never betrayed the public trust by doing anything like that,” he said. He made the statements in a call to Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, to complain about the paper’s inquiries.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/us...gewanted=print

    What Are Defamation, Libel and Slander?

    Generally speaking, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm. Slander involves the making of defamatory statements by a transitory (non-fixed) representation, usually an oral (spoken) representation. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as a magazine or newspaper.

    Typically, the elements of a cause of action for defamation include:

    1. A false and defamatory statement concerning another;
    2. The unprivileged publication of the statement to a third party (that is, somebody other than the person defamed by the statement);
    3. If the defamatory matter is of public concern, fault amounting at least to negligence on the part of the publisher; and
    4. Damage to the plaintiff.


    Defamation, Libel and Slander Law
    They are alleging that Iseman and McCain attended a fundraiser together. They point out that they flew back together on a plane owned by Paxon Communications. I assume those facts can be substantiated. Additionally, the NYT discusses Information provided by "former associatiates" and point out that such information was corroborated by others.

    Based on my review of the article, the NYT has sources for the above information. They quote a statement by John Weaver expressing concern about Iseman undermining the campaign.

    I don't see how she stands to win this lawsuit. I really don't.

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    Re: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    Here's the part of the article that discusses her:

    They are alleging that Iseman and McCain attended a fundraiser together. They point out that they flew back together on a plane owned by Paxon Communications. I assume those facts can be substantiated. Additionally, the NYT discusses Information provided by "former associatiates" and point out that such information was corroborated by others.

    Based on my review of the article, the NYT has sources for the above information. They quote a statement by John Weaver expressing concern about Iseman undermining the campaign.

    I don't see how she stands to win this lawsuit. I really don't.
    The NYT knew full well when they published the story that the suggestion of an affair would dominate the news cycle, not "Iseman and McCain attend a fundraiser together." Affairs are just too juicy to even hint at without some kind of evidence. Any normal person who read the article would think they just read a story about an affair, not about someone undermining McCain's campaign.

    However, what might let the New York Times off the hook is the fact that McCain is a public figure and therefore the usual standards of defamation don't apply to him. I'm not sure how Iseman would factor into that since the story is about her too.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 12-31-08 at 08:04 AM.
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    Re: Lobbyist linked by Times to McCain sues paper

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    I hope she loses. Seriously.

    How do you know the article was a load of crap? Did you talk to the sources that the paper had?



    How do you know is wasn't?

    you can't just make up stories because your a dying left wing publication.....


    I hope they win.
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