The story of the day out here in Minneapolis is the McCain campaign’s war against the press. This has been building for some time. Those of us who have criticized the candidate--and especially those of us who enjoyed good relations with McCain in the past--have been subject to off-the-record browbeating and attempted bullying all year. ...And this from John Aravosis, head honcho at AMERICAblog:
So what’s going on here? Two things. McCain is just plain angry at us. By the evidence presented in the utterly revealing Time interview, he’s ballistic. This is a politician who needs to see himself as the man on the white horse, boldly traversing a muddy field ... any intimations that he’s gotten muddied in the process, or has decided to throw mud, are intolerable.
The second thing is more insidious: [McCain campaign manager] Steve Schmidt has decided, for tactical reasons, to slime the press. He wants the public to believe that there is an unfair--sexist (you gotta love it)--personal assault going on against [McCain’s V.P. nominee, Sarah] Palin and her family. This is a smokescreen, intended to divert attention from the very real and responsible vetting that is taking place in the media--about the substance of Palin’s record as mayor and governor. ...
There is a tendency in the media to kick ourselves, cringe and withdraw, when we are criticized. But I hope my colleagues stand strong in this case: it is important for the public to know that Palin raised taxes as governor, supported the Bridge to Nowhere before she opposed it, pursued pork-barrel projects as mayor, tried to ban books at the local library and thinks the war in Iraq is “a task from God.” The attempts by the McCain campaign to bully us into not reporting such things are not only stupidly aggressive, but unprofessional in the extreme.
Sarah Palin is going to say tonight that people don’t like her because she’s not a member of the Washington elite. No. We don’t like you because you’re a liar. You lied about opposing the Bridge to Nowhere. And you lied about your foreign policy experience (shopping at the duty-free does not a trip to Ireland make). You embellish your resume left and right--living close to Russia doesn’t make you a Russian expert--and there’s an air of scandal around you that isn’t very becoming for a person who calls themselves a “reformer.” Rudy Giuliani went so far as to compare governing Wasilla, a town of 7,000 people, to running New York City, a town of nearly ten million. They’re not the same, and we shouldn’t have to tell you that. But you want us to believe that they’re the same. You want us to believe that you opposed earmarks, but you didn’t. Story after story, you simply didn’t come clean with us. Sorry, Sarah, but when I’m hiring someone for a job, if they lie on their resume, if they lie in the interview, they don’t get the job. That’s why everyone thinks you’re unqualified. Because you’re not.Hmm. Maybe McCain was doing better when he was palling around with the press and accepting their doughnuts.
READ MORE: “McCain Camp Battles National Enquirer Over Alleged Palin Affair,” by Sam Stein (The Huffington Post).