Congratulations to the John McCain campaign, which has now officially been told off on all three big cable news networks! Attached is a video of MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell taking some hard swings at McCain's sacrificial spokesman, Tucker Bounds, about campaign lying Monday. Also attached: Video of Fox News's Megyn Kelly doing the same thing on right-leaning Fox News Channel. Wow. Remember when CNN did this to Bounds, so McCain cancelled a Larry King interview in a snit? Guess that won't work anymore. Bounds has become a human piñata like Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan before him, as the media hold him responsible for the crimes of his boss, who they can't get at. It's awesome to see, but still all too rare — on all the networks. Watch all the fun video after the jump.
Take it from One Who Knows: When Turdblossom calls bullshit on ya, ya mighta gone too far. Worse, ya got caught at it.
Richard Cohen, of all people!
The precise moment of McCain's abasement came, would you believe, not at some news conference or on one of the Sunday shows but on "The View," the daytime TV show created by Barbara Walters. Last week, one of the co-hosts, Joy Behar, took McCain to task for some of the ads his campaign has been running. One deliberately mischaracterized what Barack Obama had said about putting lipstick on a pig -- an Americanism that McCain himself has used. The other asserted that Obama supported teaching sex education to kindergarteners.
"We know that those two ads are untrue," Behar said. "They are lies."
Freeze. Close in on McCain. This was the moment. He has largely been avoiding the press. The Straight Talk Express is now just a brand, an ad slogan like "Home Cooking" or "We Will Not Be Undersold." Until then, it was possible for McCain to say that he had not really known about the ads, that the formulation "I approve this message" was just boilerplate. But he didn't.
"Actually, they are not lies," he said.
Actually, they are.
I am one of the journalists accused over the years of being in the tank for McCain. Guilty. Those doing the accusing usually attributed my feelings to McCain being accessible. This is the journalist-as-puppy school of thought: Give us a treat, and we will leap into a politician's lap.
Not so. What impressed me most about McCain was the effect he had on his audiences, particularly young people. When he talked about service to a cause greater than oneself, he struck a chord. He expressed his message in words, but he packaged it in the McCain story -- that man, beaten to a pulp, who chose honor over freedom. This had nothing to do with access. It had to do with integrity.
McCain has soiled all that. His opportunistic and irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as his political heir -- the person in whose hands he would leave the country -- is a form of personal treason, a betrayal of all he once stood for. Palin, no matter what her other attributes, is shockingly unprepared to become president. McCain knows that. He means to win, which is all right; he means to win at all costs, which is not.
McCain was going to fix all that. He was going to look the American people in the eyes and say, not me. I will not lie to you. I am John McCain, son and grandson of admirals. I tell the truth.
But Joy Behar knew better. And so McCain lied about his lying and maybe thinks that if he wins the election, he can -- as he did in South Carolina -- renounce who he was and what he did and resume his old persona. It won't work. Karl Marx got one thing right -- what he said about history repeating itself. Once is tragedy, a second time is farce. John McCain is both.
Thank you, Joy. The lies he 'approves' are so obvious as to be beyond belief. Despicable excuses for human beings and Americans as they are, at least Bush, Cheney, and Rove were good at it. No way, no how, no McCain.