John McCain For Sale (Censored News)



Posted by: AzBlueMeanie

(Thanks to tw3k for this photoshop of the On The Take Express)

The press poodles for McCain over at the Arizona Daily Star continue to censor any critical reporting about the senator being on the take to his campaign contributors.

You may recall that the Star recently did not publish any mention of the New York Times front page investigative report  A Developer, His Deals and His Ties to McCain – New York Times by David Kirkpatrick and Jim Rutenberg.  The report involved our legendary local land speculator and developer, Donald Diamond.  You would think that this merited a mention in the Star.

The Star asserted in an editor’s note, however, that it had previously reported on the relationship between Sen. McCain and Donald Diamond.

Umm, apparently not.  The Star’s Reader Advocate had to admit in a column on May 4, 2008 that a search of Star articles did not reveal any such reporting.  Star political editor Joe Burchell explained that he dismissed the reporting as "flawed" because he is the local fountain of knowledge of all things political in Pima County and he knew the reporters got their facts wrong on the details of the land swaps.  But Mr. Burchell did not address the central point of the story, i.e., that Donald Diamond views the senator as being on his personal retainer for special favors:

"I think that is what Congress people are supposed to do for constituents. When you have a big, significant businessman like myself, why wouldn’t you want to help move things along? What else would they do? They waste so much time with legislation."

Professional disagreement over details in a story is one thing.  Censorship of a story is quite another.

Now the Washington Post has published it’s own front-page investigative report McCain Pushed Land Swap That Benefits Backer – by Matthew Mosk.  Does anyone see a pattern emerging here?

According to the Post, "the Arizona Republican became a key figure in pushing the deal through Congress after the rancher and his partners hired lobbyists that included McCain’s 1992 Senate campaign manager, two of his former Senate staff members (one of whom has returned as his chief of staff), and an Arizona insider who was a major McCain donor and is now bundling campaign checks."  Once the legislation was passed, Fred Ruskin turned over the development of the land to Steven Betts of SunCor Developments, a McCain Trailblazer.

Once again, not even a mention in the Star.  Just another coincidence in a long line of coincidences establishing a pattern of conduct by McCain to benefit the campaign contributors who finance his campaigns.  McCain’s assertion that "I have carefully avoided situations that might even tangentially be construed as a less than proper use of my office," is laughable and not supported by the record (going back to Charles Keating).

The Arizona Daily Star gives the appearance that it is censoring investigative reporting by the nation’s leading newspapers that is critical of John McCain.  The Star’s editorial judgment is seriously flawed, or worse, biased.

Shortly after McCain announced his candidacy last year, Star Opinion Editor Ann Brown was invited to join McCain on his bus in Iowa.  She dedicated the March 18, 2007 edition of the Star to a candidate profile of McCain.  About his roots | ® ; Immigration, growth on McCain agenda | ® Nothing wrong with this.  But Ms. Brown contributed her own "love notes from the bus" styled campaign report.  Iowa field work | ®  It was enough to make Elisabeth Bummiller blush.

Censorship of news is unacceptable in a democracy.  Bias in news coverage is to be avoided.

This is my suggestion to the editors of the Arizona Daily Star.  Publish these major investigative reports by the nation’s leading newspapers and publish your own "Local Angle" companion piece, for which you have carved out a niche, stating your own analysis.  Then invite the reporters who wrote the original investigative report to respond to your Local Angle analysis to give the reporting a full and fair airing.  This would give the voters of Arizona the information they need to make an informed decision in November.

In fairness to the Arizona Daily Star, its competitor newspapers in this state have been only slightly more objective in their coverage of John McCain. There is substantial room for improvement by all.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.


  1. Yeah yeah I have read your articles. Again pretty flimsy evidence and not as bad as other politicians like Sens. Obama and Clinton whose connections are far more sinister and substantial

  2. Mr. Bretney, with all of your inane comments that litter this blog site, I would think that by now you would have figured out that the highlighted blue words are links to the articles to which I am both quoting from and/or summarizing (the New York Times, Washington Post,, etc. would be your first clue). I provide citations and links to all the sources I reference.

    Since you apparently feel you have much to say, here’s a novel idea for you: why don’t you start your own damn blog post? Then you can spend all of this free time you apparently have on your hands writing your own blog. Quit wasting my time.

  3. Walt S:

    Do you have a link to the article in the Arizona Republic to which you are referring? If so, please cite your sources with a link to the article.

    A search on the web site for “McCain” produced no relevant articles on this subject around the time, or since, the publication of the NY Times article (April 22, 2008), or the Washington Post article (May 9, 2008).

    I believe you may be referring to the Washington Post article I cited which stated: “The deal had support from many local officials and the Arizona Republic newspaper for its expansion of the Prescott National Forest. But it brought an outcry from some Arizona environmentalists when it was proposed in 2002, partly because it went through Congress rather than a process that allowed more citizen input.”

    My “point” is that Arizona newspapers are not publishing major investigative news reporting on John McCain being done by the nation’s two leading newspapers, for which all other news media in this country rely upon as a source for their news stories. It is fair to ask “why?”

    If local editors believe they know better than the reporters at the Times or Post, they can publish these articles and publish their own “fact check” article to dispute the Times or Post. But to choose not to publish at all smacks of censorship. The more information people have, the better able they are to make an informed decision. I believe you would agree.

  4. The Republic liked the land swap. The investigative reporter could not document any wrong doing. All the environmental groups were heard on the issue and most gave their stamp of approval. What is your point?

  5. This is news. Scarpo publishes the flimsiest rumor in his rag but chooses not to publish your hit pieces that is saying a lot about you and your case.

    I guess I owe Scarpo an apology. He is not quite the douche bag that I figured him to be. More of a dilluted slightly minature douche bag.

    AzMeanie, you need to start citing sources I mean besides yourself.

  6. It may be of interest to you to learn that I contacted the Arizona Daily Star Reader Advocate about this very topic. It was explained to me that “The Star will investigate McCain’s ties and practices in stories that will run after the convention,” and that “Much of the land dealing took place over many years, and would be considered old news, except that there’s a candidate for president involved. The Star would rather get it right, than get it first.”

    I am curious to learn why this “old news” editorial judgment does not apply equally to the “old news” the Star has published about the Democratic candidates.

  7. Well, surprise,surprise. Saint Johnny walks on water for the Arizona Daily Star and the Arizona Republic.
    Leonard Clark
    chairman of the recall Insane McCain Committee

    William Crum