The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, May 15, 2006

For the media, McCain can do no wrong-- even at Liberty University

I ran across this story just a few minutes after hearing Al Franken and Norm Ornstein agreeing that the most likely 2008 match-up will be Clinton and McCain. If that's the case, we're likely to see yet another election like 2000 and 2004, with the media lining up squarely on the side of the "straight-talking Republican," facts be damned.

After McCain's completely non-threatening, inclusionary speech at Liberty University-- a forum which seems to have become de rigueur for would-be GOP presidents-- media outlets have ironically praised his courage in playing it safe.

As the Daily Howler notes, there's something mighty disturbing about a candidate being lauded for making nice with the likes of Jerry Falwell and his ilk, who have suggested that gays and feminists were responsible for 9/11, that Hurricane Katrina was a just act of God, and who openly declare their intent to transform America into a theocracy.

That isn't praiseworthy, it's sick. And the herd mentality of the press could make it more likely that we have four more years of Republican leadership that shamelessly panders to the fundamentalists to the peril of the nation as a whole.

Highly recommended reading, in no small part because it has another point to make-- that Democrats have sat idly by as the media has predictably trashed Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry. And it's killing the party in every election cycle.

UPDATE: Hours after writing this post, I came across another example of McCain being lauded for his bravery. And like the Howler's examples, the plaudits are for the incongruous reason that he avoided hot-button issues. "Hey, he was at LIberty but didn't trash science education! What a hero!" Rubbish. The simple fact of the matter is that he spoke at Liberty University, and that sends a clear message to the right-- he craves the support of the Christianists. If people like McCain, that's fine. But seeing him treated like a saint when another politician would be accused of calculated pandering is just creepy. And it bodes ill for media coverage of 2008.