Is the Love Affair Over? McCain Gets Combative With Reporters
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John McCain became a media darling by offering extraordinary access to campaign reporters. The candidate and the journalists would spend hours hanging out on a bus, enjoying the gabfests, on and off the record, about any subject that came to mind. The media ate it up, and rewarded McCain with the kind of fawning, sycophantic coverage most politicians can only dream of.
Asked during the primaries if he'd maintain his signature style if he got the Republican nomination, McCain told reporters, "You think I could survive if I didn't? We'd never be forgiven." McCain even had a sofa installed on his plane, in order to make his chats with the media more relaxed.
That was, of course, before Karl Rove's team took over the McCain campaign operation. Howard Kurtz recently had a good item detailing the remarkably curtailed access the senator now offers reporters, and the ways in which McCain replaced "straight talk" with stale talking points. To see just how dramatic a transformation this has been, take a minute to read this fascinating interview between McCain and Time's James Carney and Michael Scherer: