The Los Angeles Times’ Ronald Brownstein writes on the 2008 presidential race today. He does not disclose that his wife is a senior aid to John McCain. Which candidate does McCain favor getting the Democratic nod? My guess is that it has to be Hillary as that will significantly boost the Beltway chatter about McCain’s cross-party appeal.
Indeed, it seems odd that this article does not mention the DLC’s role in blunting a potential McCain or Rudy challenge from “the center.” You have to wonder if Brownstein is holding back on references to McCain because of the problem his wife’s employment poses.
The Times recently pledged transparency in conflict-of-interest matters. I guess that means if you declare a conflict once in print, every reader for all time is presumed to know and not care about it. BTW: To my knowledge, the paper has still not detailed Mrs. Brownstein’s job or salary, or how funds paid her by Senator McCain are not part of Ron Brownstein’s direct financial interest that would preclude him from covering McCain or related stories, like today’s on Hillary: “[S]taff members may not cover individuals or institutions with which they have a financial relationship.”
My guess is that before long Mrs. Brownstein will resign from McCain’s staff because objective voices within the paper will see the iceburg the paper has already hit. Brownstein’s a fine writer, but his pieces should be in the opinion section, and his conflict fully noted every time asuch a piece runs.
Some guidelines. Some ethics.