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Sunday, February 18, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 5:05 PM | permalink
Or so says Dick Polman in a Sunday editorial. The wheels have officially come off the Straight Talk Express.

Polman recalls the "pandering" McCain on tour, running for President in 2000, riding shotgun with an enamored press. Apparently, the jokes and inside stories flew fast and furious on the tour bus to nowhere. And the press lapped it up. Polman recounts:
I remember one frigid New Hampshire night, somewhere along Interstate 93. McCain held court, and we crowded around. He ruminated a bit about health care (he confessed that the issue bored him), gossiped about some people he didn't like (signaling his distaste by rolling his eyes), reminisced about his days as a carousing Navy flyboy (he said he dated an exotic dancer named "Marie the Flame Thrower of Florida"), and there were rollicking good vibes as we rolled along.
Next, in a startling admission, Polman pulls back the blinds even further:
But I never rode again, having no desire to be part of McCain's laugh track. Somehow, a bit of professional distance seemed more appropriate. And it was obvious McCain knew exactly what he was doing. He had very little money at the time - all the big donors were backing his rival, George W. Bush - so he needed free and favorable exposure. And flattering the press was the best way to get it.
From that time the centrist McCain has welcomed wave upon wave of warm waters from the press, hailed as the "maverick" of the GOP. All the bus needs is a good paint job right? Not so fast, says Polman:
...that's not likely to happen, not at a time when the media feel so betrayed.hey fell hard for McCain in 2000, not just because he granted so much access, but because he sold himself as a rebel, an anti-establishment reformer with no patience for political orthodoxy. Reporters bought the McCain persona, because they (like many of their fellow citizens) are frustrated romantics who yearn for authenticity in public life. So when an alleged rebel turns out to be a calculating opportunist, that's an open invitation for the Fourth Estate to lose the love and rediscover its adversarial impulses.
Brace yourself John. The press has burned the kids' gloves.

Hugh Hewitt alludes to this as the media's rope-a-dope approach -- get John the primary then stomp and tromp him. Hugh thought it would be melanoma and old age. It looks like the press might just be a little more honest than we expected.Read the whole article!

Our own Dave Burris has the second pass at this interesting and revealing article, who's flipping now!

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Nice work, boys, in getting these stories up. Johnnie McCain better brace himself for the whippin' he's going to deservedly take. Meanwhile, Mitt will keep taking baby steps forward.

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