In rejecting McCain's submission, New York Times Op-Ed editor David Shipley said that he wasn't "going to be able to accept this piece as currently written," and explained his rationale by saying: "The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans ... It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq."
The sticking point, to some degree, seemed to be Shipley's request that McCain define "victory" in the Op-Ed. That request poses obvious difficulties for McCain, who -- like other supporters of the war -- has been decidedly reluctant to be pinned down on a definition. If you really wanted to, you could claim that Shipley deliberately tried to corner McCain by including what was, in effect if not intention, a poison pill in his request for a rewrite. But such an attempt at policy explication hardly seems to constitute media bias. It's reasonable to expect politicians to be able to explain their positions.