Media Narratives

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, John McCain is a phony. Of course, getting the public to see through McCain’s carefully-constructed persona is difficult when the media is so complicit in enforcing the view that he’s a no-nonsense, straight-talking tough guy who’s willing to reach across the aisle to do the right thing. Or as the “journalists” at CNN like to put it….

John King :

“McCain’s maverick streak doesn’t sit well with many colleagues.”

Bill Hemmer :

“The story of his life is a profile in courage, both political and personal. Before John McCain was a maverick senator, he was a Vietnam prisoner of war for six years in Hanoi.”

John King :

” Senator McCain known as a maverick, known as someone to challenge his party…he is now going back to the United States Senate, where he won the maverick label, the maverick reputation because his own party’s leadership back in the Senate is very much opposed to the very things John McCain stands for.

Kate Snow :
“Senator McCain known as a maverick here on Capitol Hill.”

Larry King :

“Tonight, personal revelations from a congressional maverick and an American hero. Senator McCain”

Candy Crowley :
“John McCain, the scrappy maverick who has defied his party and the odds”

Joe Johns :
“John McCain, the maverick conservative who has no problem crossing his party and his president when he thinks he’s right. ”

Anderson Cooper :

“John McCain, the Senator from Arizona, is a maverick, but a maverick with a following.”

Jeff Greenfield :

“John McCain is not a moderate, he’s a maverick.”
Candy Crowley :

“John McCain, a conservative, but a maverick conservative”

Carlos Watson :

“[O]n issues like homeland security you may see people like John McCain, the maverick senator from Arizona, be kind of a big champion”

Anderson Cooper :

“He, of course, a staunch supporter of the war in Iraq, also known for being a maverick within his own party. ”

Stephen Frazier :

“Interesting, now, how significant he will become, since he is a moderate and a maverick Republican.”

Suzanne Malveaux :

“Now, a familiar face that you’re also going to see on the trail is senator — this is Senator John McCain. He, of course, the maverick Republican trying to generate a lot of support there.”

Chris Black :

“Then there is the X factor, the maverick Republican John McCain determined to change the rules on political money as soon as next Monday in defiance of his own leaders.”

Kelly Wallace :

“A well-known getting the most votes within the Kerry campaign is Republican Senator John McCain. The Arizona maverick would generate tremendous excitement and help attract Republican and independent voters”

Wolf Blitzer :

“McCain is not campaigning there. For the maverick senator, the real challenge…”

Bill Schneider :

“John McCain managed to have it both ways — a principled maverick who remained Bush-friendly and kept lines open to conservatives.”

Lou Waters :

“In Washington, fellow Senate maverick John McCain angrily warned the Republican Party to, in his words, ‘grow up and learn to disagree without resorting to personal threats.'”

Wolf Blitzer :

“Eyebrows have been raised by a planned weekend meeting at the Arizona ranch of maverick Republican Senator John McCain.”

Suzanne Malveaux :

“It’s one of the main reasons why they picked Senator McCain to be a part of it, because you know he’s a critic, he’s a maverick, he’ll say what he wants to say.”

Joe Johns :

“Now, McCain, John McCain of Arizona, a key Republican here on Capitol
Hill, obviously a maverick Republican as well…”

Judy Woodruff :

“Senator John McCain is blasting what he calls crony capitalism. Up next: excerpts from McCain’s latest campaign against the system. Is he trying to sound like Teddy Roosevelt? Another political maverick is back in the spotlight…”

…and my favorite :

Howard Kurtz :

“Did the press pump up the story that the Arizona senator might — might — leave the GOP? Were journalists blatantly used by McCain advisers or can they simply not resist writing about their favorite maverick senator?”

Even when they’re questioning McCain, they can’t help but point out how tough he is. Of course, if McCain was an actual “maverick” he wouldn’t have waited until after an election year to talk tough on torture. I guess in media-land, “maverick” is defined as the first Republican to jump on a Democratic bandwagon. Nevermind what liberals say, the media likes to save their praise until McCain’s pollsters tells him to “reach across the aisle”. Blech.