News & Politics

The MSM's Revisionist Love Affair With McCain Is a Bit Much to Stomach

The MSM's Revisionist Love Affair With McCain Is a Bit Much to Stomach
FILE - In this April 28, 2016 file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. McCain says President Barack Obama is “directly responsible” for the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., in which a gunman killed 49 people because he allowed the growth of the Islamic State on his watch. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

It is perfectly good and natural to want to speak well of the recently departed, even if said departed was one who someone didn’t always speak well of when he or she was alive.

Then there’s just makin’ stuff up.

As I have watched the mainstream media laud Sen. John McCain since his death over the weekend I have often found myself wondering, “Are we talking about the same John McCain here?”

My PJ Media colleague Matt Margolis posted a video yesterday about how “The View” has had a seismic shift on its thoughts about Maverick. The contrast was rather sharp and was no doubt influenced by the fact that McCain’s daughter Meghan is a regular on the show. It’s also “The View,” and if I begin holding them to any standards I won’t be able to avoid cirrhosis of the liver.

I did a fair amount of volunteer work on both of McCain’s presidential campaigns and I know that the tendencies that earned him the nickname “Maverick” were enough to keep the MSM from savaging him all the time like they would other Republicans. But I don’t remember them swooning the way they have been the past few days.

I am not going to do a lot of exhaustive research here because my broader point (which Matt makes as well) isn’t specifically about John McCain, but the fact that the MSM does this to every prominent Republican. They dole out the bare-minimum when it comes to decency (Bob Dole is an aptly-named example here) or, in the case of President George W. Bush, are basically just vile.

With McCain it was an odd mix of the two. Whenever he decided to stab his own party in the back — the number one prerequisite for a Republican to get any love from the MSM — he would do so in spectacular fashion, as when he saved Obamacare in the summer of ’17. McCain had just enough of those on his resume to have permanent dancing privileges with the MSM, even if they would still talk behind his back.

The Senate was a perfect place for McCain to keep massaging his relationship with the press. He could spend five years as an extremely moderate, almost Democratic, senator then run back to Arizona during an election year and pretend that he cared about border security. The octogenarian voters of my native state who were receiving approximately 42,000 pro-McCain direct mail pieces from the Chamber of Commerce would fall for it every time. Once that bit of unpleasantness was wrapped up, he could return to Washington to resume his duties as the Olympia Snowe of the Southwest.

Despite having done that dance for the better part of his Senate career, that wasn’t enough to keep Maverick in permanent good stead with the Coastal Media Bubble types. That is because John McCain twice had the audacity to run for the presidency, an office which the members of the mainstream media think that a Republican should never, ever attain.

As someone who volunteered on both campaigns and was also blogging a lot about politics even back then, a couple of things stick out in my mind.

The first is that The New York Times and The Washington Post published rumor-laden garbage about an affair that McCain had allegedly had. They did this obviously coordinated hit in early 2008, when it was pretty clear that McCain would be the GOP nominee. What made this even more galling was that both publications did this at a time when they were actively ignoring credible evidence that John Edwards — who was still in the 2008 mix for the Dems — had fathered a child during an affair of his own.

Super nice people, the press.

Another thing I remember coming up a lot over the years were discussions in the media about McCain’s temper. These past few days I keep hearing some of the leftmedia describe McCain as some sort of teddy bear statesman. The MSM of old couldn’t stop worrying about whether John McCain might actually bite a human being’s head off were he given too much power. They were still talking about it when he was no longer a presidential candidate.

While it may be a nice gesture for the press and some government officials to pay homage to McCain, they shouldn’t get a free pass for their words when he was alive and an Evil Republican. Jimmy Carter called him a “warmonger.” He was a “racist.” John McCain was, in short, every awful thing that the Democrats and their mouthpieces in the mainstream media call every Republican.

They continually absolve themselves because, as leftists, they’re incapable of referencing any history that makes them appear culpable for anything.

A lot of us know how to search the archives on The New York Times site. Unlike, it would seem, anybody who works for The New York Times.