The Times Weighs On Its McCain-Lobbyist Story; Suit Is Dropped

National Journal's Ed Pound reports that lobbyist Vicki Iseman is dropping her lawsuit against The New York Times after the paper agreed to run a statement declaring it "did not state" and "did not intend to conclude that Ms. Iseman had engaged in a romantic affair with" Sen. John McCain.

Pound reports:

In a later series of interviews with National Journal, Iseman, 41, strongly denied having had an intimate relationship with McCain. A partner in the lobbying firm Alcalde & Fay, Iseman said in the interviews that the Times made her out to look like "a prostitute,'' someone who had used a romantic relationship to win legislative favors.

In its "Note to Readers," the Times will say: "An article published on February 21, 2008, about Sen. John McCain and his record as an ethics reformer who was at times blind to potential conflicts of interest included references to Vicki Iseman, a Washington lobbyist. The article did not state, and The Times did not intend to conclude, that Ms. Iseman had engaged in a romantic affair with Sen. McCain or an unethical relationship on behalf of her clients in breach of the public trust.''

A joint statement issued by the Times and Iseman said, "The Times has maintained that the article was an accurate, important examination of the record of Mr. McCain... as an ethics reformer who was at times blind to potential conflicts of interest.'' The statement further noted that in dealing with Iseman, the story "focused on the fact that some top McCain advisers had confronted the senator with their concerns that the relationship had become romantic.''