Election 2008

Blind Punditry in Denver: Media Love Affair with BBQ McCain Continues

We've seen many more examples of the media's transgressions in separating the man from the narrative.
In June, I wrote (with George Zornick) in Loving John McCain about the media's maddening blindness towards the extremism and/or crass political expediency of Senator John McCain:

On issue after issue, and from every side of the journalistic political spectrum, a campaign of deception and distortion has helped to ensure that McCain's extreme positions and politically inspired flip-flops remain far from the consciousness of the average voter. Just as the media-promoted notion that George W. Bush was the kind of guy with whom one might enjoy a few beers managed to obscure the predictable catastrophes that lay in store for this nation once he became President, so too can the deep-seated media denial of McCain's extremist policies and addiction to political expediency mask the fact that his victory in November would result in a continuation--and even, in some instances, an expansion--of the very policies that have brought the nation to the brink of irreversible disaster.
I hope that, 7,000 words later, we proved our case. A few months later, we've seen many more examples of the media's transgressions in this regard--although perhaps none better than what Tom Brokaw offered up yesterday in Denver. (Halperin was a close second, also yesterday.

The Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy held a talk, moderated by Judy Woodruff, between the Sunday show honchos-- Brokaw, Bob Schieffer, and George Stephanopoulos. Discussing McCain's success in the Republican primaries, Brokaw attributed it to the candidate's "indomitable will," and opined that McCain won by simply being "the most authentic...he wasn't trying to reinvent himself."

This is not only wrong, but diametrically, screamingly wrong.
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