Ah, the good old days. When John McCain and his pals in the press could just ride around in the bus and chat. Those were the days when McCain could make mistakes and his pals would cover for him. Now, he won’t talk to them — and sounds like some of the reporters are actually covering what McCain says (if they can ever get near him). Oh, it’s all the fault of the blogs:
In 2000, when top news executives were clamoring for a chance to ride the fabled bus, McCain would spend hours talking to reporters who would write one story a day. “Now, with each bus trip, everyone’s filing a blog report, every little thing is picked up and off it goes,” says Slate correspondent John Dickerson. “It certainly takes him off message.”
McCain adviser Steve Duprey, a former chairman of New Hampshire’s Republican Party, says “he’d love to be back on the bus, driving around with eight or 10 of you, and just riffing. In New Hampshire, if he’d say something that wasn’t artfully phrased, there was more of a flow — he could revise something, or say let’s talk about baseball. He’d get a pass. But in the age of blogs, there’s always someone who makes a big deal out of it.”
McCain is “pained” at all but ending the sessions, says spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush White House communications director, but “we have to find a balance. He won the primary essentially on a bus with the press. . . . He’s intensely loyal to the back-and-forth with the press. It’s who he is. It will always be part of our mix.”
Note to anyone reading this: Do not believe Ms. Wallace. She is one of the prime spinners from the Karl Rove school. Trust nothing she says. The “balance” of which she speaks is no balance. Because of the new media, the traditional media types can’t cover for McCain anymore. And, McCain needs cover because he is overly prone to mistakes and gaffes — and he just makes things up.
Then, there’s this little tidbit about CNN’s John King, who is increasingly one of the biggest tools in the media:
When CNN’s John King was interviewing the senator for a profile to run before the Republican convention — and raised the race-card flap at the end — aides tried to cut him off. McCain gave a 10-second answer and ended the interview with a quick handshake as King tried to follow up. The aides later chastised King for raising a subject that was not part of the agreed-upon agenda.
King only got an interview by agreeing to a specific agenda. CNN wanted the interview for some convention promotion. In other words, sounds like he sacrificed some of CNN’s integrity, not that the network has too much, to get McCain on camera – McCain set the ground rules so McCain would look good.
NOTE FROM JOHN: Not to mention, considering that McCain’s campaign invoked the race card last week, practically accusing Obama of being a racist (oh the irony there in so many ways), why are they now afraid to talk about it?