Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The press sure HEARTS McCain!

Peter Hart has written an excellent summary of the long love affair between the mainstream media and John McCain, posted over at FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting).
If you pay even passing attention to national politics, you know that presumptive GOP presidential candidate John McCain is a maverick who bucks his own party’s line and never wavers in his political beliefs. At least, that’s what the corporate media say—reality tells a very different story.

The origin of the McCain the Maverick storyline is hard to pin down, but it gained a serious boost after CBS’s 60 Minutes delivered a mostly fawning segment headlined “The Maverick From Arizona” (10/12/97) that celebrated his quest to reform the campaign finance system. CBS interviewed several of McCain’s harshest home-state critics, but that tape was left on the cutting room floor (New Republic, 5/24/99). And CBS’s allegedly tough-as-nails correspondent Mike Wallace was clearly enamored with McCain, going so far as to say that he was considering joining his campaign: “I’m thinking I may quit my job if he gets the nomination,” Wallace declared (Washington Post, 6/8/98).

It’s hard to overstate how vital this “maverick” meme is to media coverage of McCain.

“McCain is nothing if not a maverick,” declared U.S. News & World Report (4/7/08), while CBS host Bob Schieffer (7/15/07) called him the “most famous maverick of the last half of the 20th century.” Time magazine (1/21/08) dubbed McCain “a free-ranging, fence-jumping, kick-the-corral maverick.”

McCain wasn’t much of a maverick when the media affixed that label to him. He became one very briefly, and then returned more or less back to where he started.

McCain’s voting pattern bears out this analysis. Before the 2000 campaign, McCain was consistently among the party’s most conservative members. In the 107th Congress (2001–02), McCain was the sixth most liberal Republican senator, according to the VoteView statistical analysis of voting patterns. In the next congressional session, he was the fourth most conservative.
And he’s more or less stayed there since. According to VoteView, McCain’s voting record in 2005–06 made him the second-most conservative senator in the 109th Congress, and the eighth-most conservative in the 110th Senate. Outside of McCain’s brief tack to the middle, his overall voting record makes him a reliable member of his party’s caucus.
Read the rest of the story here ....


Mary Ellen said...

McCain just blows with the wind, and Lord knows there's a lot of hot air in Washington for him to get caught in. Personally, I think he will work much more with the Democrats than George Bush did. Think about it, at his age, he must realize that he will be a one term President. Once he has the power of the Presidency, it won't matter if he sticks it to the Bush Republicans. He also won't have to do the bidding of the crazy fundamentalists. They've stuck it to him before, he'll be happy to stick it right back.

I don't think McCain will want to end his Presidency with the low approval ratings of George Bush, so he will have to work with the Democrats to make his term work. He's worked with Dems across the aisle before. McCain is his most dangerous, IMO, when he's backed into the corner while trying to please everyone.

I'm not saying that McCain will be a good President, but I don't think he'll be as dangerous as Bush.

The big question is the Supreme Court. He won't have to cow-tow to the Republicans to put in an uber Conservative to overturn Roe v Wade....and he will need to have the approval of the Dems to approve the nomination of whoever he chooses. Unless our Democrats take a huge hit in the number of Senators elected this year (which they may do if Obama is the nominee and Hillary supporters who say they won't vote also choose not to vote down the ticket), I think the next SCOTUS justice will be a moderate and not super conservative.

I know...just a lot of speculation, but that's all anyone can give us, eh? I think there is just as much speculation as to what kind of President Obama would be. Once he walks away from his teleprompter, he seems lost. That worries me as much as the prospect of McCain in office. Give the power to a man who is arrogant and power hungry, has no knowledge of the workings of the economy, little respect for those in the military (by virtue of his lack of interest while campaigning in his own committee regarding the military in Afghanistan), dealings and friendships with corrupt figures, signing on to the energy bill that helped the profits of big oil companies, the promise of unity--while dividing his own party, and what do you have? George Bush!


This brings back such memories when Dukakis was our choice of nominee. :-(

Anonymous said...

McCain has always seemed a bit of a media creation. I really wonder what the media coverage of the general election is going to look like. Wonder? Dread. I dread the coverage.

Mary Ellen said...

d'cup- I'm with you, I'm dreading listening to the media groom their favorite candidates and destroy whoever they don't like. Really, they are nothing more than propaganda machines.

Sue J said...

This campaign season has completely turned me off of all of them. It's all I can do to watch one of the half hour nightly newscasts. I never, never watch any of the "commentary" shows, no matter what the network.

Sue J said...

Well, sometimes I still do watch NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS.