« | »

Outrage: McCain Camp Targets The Media

From the DNC’s Miami Herald:

McCain campaign systematically targets the news media

Posted on Sun, Sep. 14, 2008

By STEVEN THOMMA AND MARGARET TALEV

FAIRFAX, Va. — Republicans were already fired up for John McCain and Sarah Palin last week when Fred Thompson took the stage here to turn up the heat a little more – with a full-throated attack on the media as a co-conspirator with the Democrats in an effort to smear and destroy Palin…

A half-hour later, the Republicans lined Old Lee Highway to watch the campaign motorcade pull away. As McCain and Palin rolled by, they cheered. As the press van approached a second later, they booed.

It was no accident.

Ever since McCain chose the largely unknown Palin as his running mate, his campaign has waged an intensive assault on the news media.

Capitalizing on errors, rumors and perceived sexism in the frenzied first round of reporting on Palin, the McCain campaign has taken advantage of a changing media landscape, grouping together blogs and supermarket tabloids with mainstream newspapers and television to tar the media as one corrupt monolith, stirring up the conservative base and working to pressure the media from further aggressive reporting on Palin…

There was some mistaken and controversial coverage – some from the new media, some from the old.

The liberal Daily Kos Web site, for example, posted an item the day Palin’s selection was announced speculating that she hadn’t actually given birth to a fifth child this year and that the baby was really her daughter’s.

That prompted media inquiries to the campaign asking if it were true, which in turn moved Palin to announce that her daughter was pregnant.

There were arguably sexist comments from such journalists as Sally Quinn of The Washington Post questioning whether Palin, as a mother of young children, could or should handle the job.

There were flat-out mistakes, such as The New York Times report that Palin had been a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, which pushed for a vote to secede from the union. She hadn’t been, though her husband, Todd, had.

Some of the tabloid coverage got a boost from the McCain camp itself. During the convention, the campaign put out a statement denouncing the National Enquirer for a story that accused Palin of having an extramarital affair. Some Web sites wrote about the allegation based on the campaign’s statement, which was distributed Sept. 3, two days before the Enquirer story was distributed.

That was an ironic reversal for conservatives. Weeks before, conservatives lambasted the news media for not picking up an Enquirer story on an affair by Democrat John Edwards – allegations that Edwards later admitted. Now they demanded that the media ignore the Enquirer’s Palin story – then blamed the media collectively anyway

Accusing the media of smearing a candidate is “a standard tactic” for politicians who don’t want scrutiny, according to Brooks Jackson, director of Annenberg Political Fact Check, which operates the nonpartisan voter resource FactCheck.org.

Indeed, hammering the media is hardly new.

Former Vice President Spiro Agnew thrilled Republicans during Richard Nixon’s term when he called the news media “an effete corps of impudent snobs” and a “tiny and closed fraternity of privileged men, elected by no one.” The elder George Bush took relish in the slogan “annoy the media, elect Bush.” …

And it’s easier still in an age when a large percentage of voters get their news only from media that reflect their own thinking, such as Fox News’ Sean Hannity for conservatives and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann for liberals.

“It’s always been a tactic in the playbook of both parties. But at a time when more voters can get their information from ideologically tailored sources, it’s an even easier sell,” said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California.

“Partisans on both sides have their favorite sources of information, and they get frustrated when the mainstream media doesn’t follow the same talking points.”

To quote the poets, “boo frickin’ hoo.”

There was some mistaken and controversial coverage – some from the new media, some from the old.

The liberal Daily Kos Web site, for example, posted an item the day Palin’s selection was announced speculating that she hadn’t actually given birth to a fifth child this year and that the baby was really her daughter’s.

Ah yes, these vicious smears made up out of whole cloth by rabid maniacs at the Daily Kos and then parroted by our watchdog media were merely “mistaken and controversial.”

Glad that’s settled.

There were arguably sexist comments…

Gee, ya think?

There were flat-out mistakes, such as The New York Times report that Palin had been a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, which pushed for a vote to secede from the union.

Which The Times only indirectly corrected on it “blog.” Meanwhile, the reporter stood by her erroneous report:

Elisabeth Bumiller, the lead author of the Times report, said she is “completely confident about the story.” As for the campaign’s criticism, she said: “This is what they do. It’s part of their operation.”

Never mind that the lie was printed on the NYT’s front page, above the fold.

But that’s what they do. It’s part of their operation.

Some of the tabloid coverage got a boost from the McCain camp itself. During the convention, the campaign put out a statement denouncing the National Enquirer for a story that accused Palin of having an extramarital affair.

You see how it works? If you slap down a blatant lie like this, you are accused by our media watchdogs of giving such stories a “boost.”

That was an ironic reversal for conservatives. Weeks before, conservatives lambasted the news media for not picking up an Enquirer story on an affair by Democrat John Edwards – allegations that Edwards later admitted. Now they demanded that the media ignore the Enquirer’s Palin story – then blamed the media collectively anyway.

Let’s see, the media covered up a true story about John Edwards and then posted lies about Sarah Palin — and the Republicans complain about it? Yes, that is “ironic” all right.

Accusing the media of smearing a candidate is “a standard tactic” for politicians who don’t want scrutiny, according to Brooks Jackson, director of Annenberg Political Fact Check, which operates the nonpartisan voter resource FactCheck.org.

Mr. Jackson is a former “reporter” for the Associated Press and CNN.

Indeed, setting up a partisan front and calling it “non-partisan” is “a standard tactic” from our nattering nabobs of negativity in our one party establishment and their lickspittle hirelings like Brooks Jackson.

“Partisans on both sides have their favorite sources of information, and they get frustrated when the mainstream media doesn’t follow the same talking points.”

Oh, our sides.

No, our one party media never follows anyone’s talking points.

Never.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Sunday, September 14th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Outrage: McCain Camp Targets The Media”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.




« Front Page | To Top
« | »