For a newspaper that tends to sneer at Republicans as the party of the rich and that likes to express sympathy for the poor, the New York Times sure gave a hard time in its front-page news article to Christine O'Donnell. Reports the Times, "She has struggled for years with personal finance problems — she has reported earnings of only $5,800 between most of this year and last and she has defaulted on her mortgage."
The Times also reports, "she told a reporter for The News Journal of Wilmington last March that her campaign had paid half the rent on her town house there because it doubled as her headquarters, one of several financial oddities enumerated in an article in that paper....She said that while she participated in the cap-and-gown ceremony nearly two decades ago, she was unable to formally graduate because of unpaid tuition."
This is all outrageously unfair treatment from the Times. One of its reporters defaulted on his mortgage — after all, when people who aren't Republican Senate candidates default on their mortgages, the Times tells us it is the fault of predatory subprime lenders, not of individual borrowers. If you can default on your mortgage and be an economics reporter for the New York Times, why can't you be the senator from Delaware?
As for the complaint that Ms. O'Donnell's campaign "had paid half the rent on her town house there because it doubled as her headquarters," what do you think the arrangement is that the Times has for its foreign correspondents?
From pages 598 to 599 of the hardcover edition of The Trust, a book about the New York Times and the family that owns it: "Carol took it as one of her more welcome duties to oversee the decorating of the Times-owned apartment on Eaton Place that served as the residence of the chief of the London bureau. Her taste ran to English and American antiques, making the flat too expensive and formal to live in comfortable if one had small children. Family photos and personal art were allowed — as long as they fit in the frames she had selected and placed on the wall. When Joe Lelyveld, the first inhabitant, wanted a desk, he located a handsome reproduction and called Punch to authorize the purchase. There was an awkward pause on the line. 'Joe, please, no reproductions,' said Punch."
A newspaper that is putting its London bureau man up in a fancy apartment is complaining that a Senate candidate is getting half her rent paid for by the campaign? Come on. And the Times London man had an office outside the apartment, which Ms. O'Donnell apparently did not.
The Times seems upset that Ms. O'Donnell isn't a Senate candidate of the means that it prefers — say, John Forbes Kerry, he whose marriage to a ketchup heiress has enabled him to sail about in a $7 million yacht, or Senator Rockefeller of West Virginia, or the late Senator Kennedy of Hyannis Port and Palm Beach.
Since when did personal wealth become a prerequisite for running for office in America? You'd think that a political candidate who is poor would be the sort of development that the Times would cheer for the sake of class diversity, rather than sneering at in an article that just about comes out and says that Ms. O'Donnell shouldn't be a senator because she doesn't have as much money as the Times thinks a senator should have. What a bunch of snobs.