Tuesday, November 11, 2008

McCain Media Bias? Just who did you bring to the dance, Senator McCain?

I find it amusing that GayPatriotWest finds it ironic that there was some kind of media bias against the McCain campaign leading into this election. Why are Republicans pretending that the John McCain of the 2008 election is anything like the John McCain the press knew and liked. This wouldn't even be a question if the John McCain of 2000 or 2004 had run this race.

I think what GayPatriotWest sees as bias (noting that the GayPatriot camp tends to imagine most of life is against them anyway) is really just scorn. "No one is angrier than a woman who has been rejected in love," so says William Congreve in his 1697 play The Mourning Bride. And so the rejection began at the GOP convention where a host of speakers railed against the elitist media. And then McCain himself chose Sarah Palin, a politician that few in general knew well, if at all, as his running mate. The campaign hindered the efforts of the media (and by extension, the nation) to get to know her first hand and to let her speak for herself in a straightforward manner continuing the media's ire of the campaign. That combined with contrived, highly controlled campaign stops in overtly Republican areas of the country and aggressive, negative and misleading campaign rhetoric created an atmosphere of skepticism for the media.

The media that used to have a friendly, trusting relationship with McCain was being dumped for his new girlfriend, the Republican base. Joe Lieberman, who should have been tapped as his running mate as his first choice, was dumped in favor of a sassy cutie-pie from the frozen North beloved by the evangelical, conservative crowd. His image as a maverick, and the corresponding authenticity that went with it, was undermined by dropping everything that made him who he was for everything he hoped would fulfill his personal ambition. This seems to be a theme in his life.

I know GayPatriotWest optimistically sees Governor Palin as a half-full glass of GOP mavericky-flavoured energy drink, rather than the mostly empty, yet skilled, tumbler of koolaid we've come to know. He also wants to believe that the John McCain of 2008 is just like the do-good, straight-shooting, independent teddybear people rooted for in the past. However, it wasn't the media that changed in 2008. It wasn't some new liberal bias that came into play (or any old liberal bias the GOP trots out as a bogeyman when convenient). It was John McCain himself and his campaign that rightfully brought on this scrutiny and skepticism. If there's anything he and the rest of the GOP should learn one thing from this year's past election: you dance with the media you brung. Otherwise, don't be surprised after you dump them when they hook up with someone younger, smarter and hotter who then gets elected prom king.

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