- The Washington Times - Monday, April 14, 2008

Sen. John McCain this morning said “greedy” Wall Street investors are partly to blame for what he said is probably an economic recession the nation is now suffering.

“There has to be a modification of the greedy behavior of some of these people,” he said, using the word “greedy” repeatedly in remarks to the Associated Press annual meeting at the Washington Convention Center today.

Mr. McCain, Republicans’ presumed presidential nominee, also vowed to go after Osama bin Laden and “get him,” though he said it may take even more intelligence capabilities than the U.S. has right now.

With his audience of newspaper executives, Mr. McCain singled out the New York Times for criticism, saying it came “too close” to crossing the line to compromising U.S. security when it revealed the government engages in undocumented wiretaps of conversations between U.S. and overseas residents it suspects of involvement with terrorism.

“I understand completely why the government charged with defending our security would want to discourage that from happening and hold the people who disclosed that damaging information accountable for their action,” he said.

Mr. McCain feuded earlier this year with that paper over a story that implied he had an improper relationship with a female lobbyist.

Mr. McCain said he will support “shield law” legislation to help reporters protect their sources, saying it was a close balancing act but he trusted reporters “integrity and patriotism” enough to say the good outweighs the potential damage that could be done.

And he warned news executives they need to shape up their own operations, run corrections more prominently, and make their decisions more openly.

“The workings of American newsrooms are some of the least transparent enterprises in the country, and it is easy to believe that the press has one set of standards for government, business, and other institutions, and entirely another for themselves,” the Arizona senator said.

“If you don’t mind a little constructive criticism from someone who respects you, I think that is an impression the press should work on correcting,” he said.

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