The New York Times veta un artículo de McCain sobre Irak

22.07.08 | 10:17. Archivado en prensa

(PD).- La guerra de Irak se ha convertido en el tema estrella de la campaña electoral estadounidense y cualquier referencia a la estrategia que debería seguir en EEUU después de las elecciones presidenciales de noviembre tensa los discursos de Barack Obama y John McCain.

La última polémica ha surgido en la prensa después de que el equipo del aspirante republicano haya desvelado que The New York Times ha rechazado publicar un artículo de opinión de John McCain sobre su estrategia sobre la guerra de Irak.

El argumento dado por el prestigioso diario, según los asesores del candidato republicano, es que el texto de McCain no está a la altura del publicado hace unos días por Barack Obama, texto al que precisamente McCain pretendía contestar con el que ha rechazado por The New York Time.

El artículo de Obama, titulado "Mi plan para Irak", detallaba los planes del senador por Illinois para retirar las tropas de Irak en 16 meses de ser elegido presidente el próximo 4 de noviembre. La pieza de McCain, según su campaña, era fundamentalmente una crítica de la postura de Obama y mostraba su oposición a fijar un calendario para la retirada.

Nuevo borrador

El equipo de campaña del aspirante republicano ha desvelado que David Shipley, editor de Opinión de The New York Times, rotativo abiertamente demócrata, argumenta en un correo electrónico, recibido por la campaña del senador por Arizona, que rechazaban el artículo de McCain pero que estarían "encantados de evaluar otro borrador el que John McCain explicara sus planes para conseguir la victoria estadounidense en Irak".

Respecto a estas peticiones del diario, un portavoz del senador por Arizona ya ha señalado que la posición d McCain no cambiará "en función de las demandas de diario".

La noticia coincide con un fuerte debate en EE UU sobre la cobertura electoral, que favorece, en lo que a espacio se refiere, al aspirante demócrata.

The New York Times ha indicado que es "un procedimiento estándar" el entablar un diálogo con el autor de una pieza de opinión sobre su artículo.

Al pesar de la polémica, el periódico espera publicar la pieza de McCain como lo hizo con otras contribuciones en el pasado. "Hemos publicado al menos siete artículos de opinión del senador McCain desde 1996.

The New York Times ha respaldado al senador McCain durante las primarias republicanas. Nos tomamos sus puntos de vista muy en serio", según un comunicado del periódico.


The Times and the McCain Op-Ed

By Kate Phillips

The Op-Ed section of The New York Times has decided not to publish an opinion piece submitted by Senator John McCain in response to one published last week by his Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, on his plan for Iraq.

The decision occurs against the backdrop of the candidates’ dueling visions on the war in Iraq and how to handle the war going forward, particularly whether there should be a timetable for withdrawal or “time horizons” as spoken by President Bush or a measured troop presence for the foreseeable future to maintain stability.

Mr. Obama is on center stage today with his overseas trip to Afghanistan and Iraq, and Mr. McCain is hitting back from home with attacks that he has been right all along in achieving stability in the war zone through sustained support of President Bush’s troop buildup over this year.

On Mr. McCain’s Op-Ed, Matt Drudge posted online what he said was the original submission by Mr. McCain. According to his post, the senator wrote about Mr. Obama: “I am dismayed that he never talks about winning the war — only of ending it… if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president.”

Tucker Bounds, a McCain campaign spokesman, issued this statement: “John McCain believes that victory in Iraq must be based on conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables. Unlike Barack Obama, that position will not change based on politics or the demands of the New York Times.”

Times officials said that the decision not to publish Mr. McCain’s submission should not be considered a total rejection of the article by the presumptive Republican nominee. Rather, David Shipley, editor of the Op-Ed page, kicked back the original version while offering suggestions for changes and revision.

Here’s Mr. Shipley’s email response on Friday to Michael Goldfarb, a member of the McCain team and frequent writer for the senator’s blog, McCainreport:

Dear Mr. Goldfarb,

Thank you for sending me Senator McCain’s essay.

I’d be very eager to publish the senator on the Op-Ed page.

However, I’m not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written. I’d be pleased, though, to look at another draft. Let me suggest an approach.

The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans.

It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory — with troops levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate. And it would need to describe the senator’s Afghanistan strategy, spelling out
how it meshes with his Iraq plan.

I am going to be out of the office next week. If you decide to re-work the draft, please be in touch with Mary Duenwald, the Op-Ed deputy. …

Again, thank you for taking the time to send me the Senator’s draft. I really hope we can find a way to bring this to a happy resolution.


David Shipley

Andrew Rosenthal, the editor of the editorial page and Op-Ed, issued this statement today about the process undergone by editors in reviewing submissions:

It is standard procedure on our Op-Ed page, and that of other newspapers, to go back and forth with an author on his or her submission.

We look forward to publishing Senator McCain’s views in our paper just as we have in the past. We have published at least seven Op-Ed pieces by Senator McCain since 1996.

The New York Times endorsed Senator McCain as the Republican candidate in the pesidential primaries. We take his views very seriously.

(In full disclosure, I worked as the deputy Op-Ed editor under Mr. Shipley during the mid-to-latter part of 2004, and it was policy then not to publish direct responses to Op-Ed columns already in print. Very rarely would a direct counterpoint to an Op-Ed be published; more often the response would be directed to Letters to the Editor. But dueling candidate Op-Eds sometimes rise to a different level, when they go beyond back-and-forth or standard talking points that everyone is familiar with.

That said, I should also say there is an enormous firewall between the editorial/Op-Ed side and the news operation. We on the news side had no input, nor intelligence, per se of Mr. McCain’s article, nor did we know that Mr. Shipley requested revisions. That holds true for all submissions to Op-Ed.)

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