With the New York Times smear on likely Republican nominee John McCain and his alleged inappropriate relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, Fox News political correspondent Carl Cameron called in to add his take. Cameron revealed on the February 21 edition of "Fox and Friends," that Fox News came across these rumors last fall. Cameron stated that they were "unable to substantiate any of it."
In regards to the alleged affair with lobbyist Vicki Iseman, Cameron asserted that they "were able to find precisely nobody who would go on the record or even suggest off the record that there was truth to the suggestion that there had been any sort of an inappropriate personal relationship."
Could this be the allegedly "conservative" Fox News covering up for a Republican? Carl Cameron’s record does not back that up. Cameron broke the George W. Bush DUI story on Fox News five days before the 2000 election, that possibly cost Bush the popular vote and put Florida to well within the recount margin.
The transcript is below.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: And Carl, obviously you’ve been on the campaign trail for many, many, many years, way back in 2000 as well. What do you make of this story?
CARL CAMERON: Well Gretchen, we, we, looked at this story. Fox News Channel went over it at some length last fall, long before it was published anywhere else. The rumors were, were, came across our transom. And we talked to the McCain campaign. We sought these nameless sources who were off to bring up these rumors. And we were unable to substantiate any of it, and chose not to report the story. It did surface on the internet, with "The Drudge Report" back in November or December of last year. And at that time Senator McCain absolutely denied any inappropriate public behavior relative to lobbying or legislating this female lobbyist Vicki Iseman. And at that time, the suggestion that there might have been the romantic overtone had not surfaced publicly, but Fox looked into it. And we were able to find precisely nobody who would go on the record or even suggest off the record that there was a truth to the suggestion that there had been any sort of an inappropriate personal relationship. It has been denied by Vicki Iseman. It’s been denied by John McCain. It’s been denied by all of McCain’s principle senior advisers, including those who were involved in the 1999, 2000 presidential campaign, in which it is alleged that some people who will not allow themselves to be named expressed concern to Senator McCain that the presence of Vicki Iseman at his side at campaign events, at fund raising events, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, bothered them and might be misconstrued or perceived as something inappropriate. But there is just no substantial information to any of this.
BRIAN KILMEADE: Hey, let me bring this to you Carl. She is with a lobbyist firm that represented Echo Star, Cable Vision, the "Tribune." He is the chairman on the Commerce Committee. Did she get any special treatment when you looked at that?
CAMERON: Well, he was the chairman of the Commerce Committee, and telecom issues were hugely important in the late 90's. There was the re-authorization and the revisions to the telecom legislation across the country. And at this point the only thing that even looks as if there was even a connection to legislation between McCain and Iseman is that Senator McCain did write some letters, in which the campaign has released that suggested that he was attuned to issues on which Vicki Iseman was working and had concerns relative to some specific companies and some specific items of the pending legislation. But there’s no indication that there’s anything inappropriate. There’s been suggestions about it because John McCain-
CARLSON: Alright, Carl.
CAMERON: -the straight talk express guy who makes such a big deal about reforming government and eliminating corruption is always subject to additional scrutiny for the possibility of hypocrisy. And years and years and years ago, of course John McCain had a problem with the so called Keating Five scandal.
KILMEADE: And they re-attached that whole thing.