Nothing illustrates the cynicism and intellectual dishonesty of the mainstream media better than its treatment of John McCain. The MSM likes to harp on the theme of McCain’s alleged transformation from gutsy maverick in 2000 to pitiable party man in 2008. In reality, though he’s the same guy. To be sure, McCain no longer is pounding George Bush, but then he’s not running against Bush this time. The real test is on the issues. Here McCain has done very little trimming, and continues to take positions inconsistent with the views of the Republican base.
This was evident again on Sunday when, in an appearance of Fox News, McCain lashed out at the harsh interrogations techniques we’ve used on high value detainees in the war on terror. It’s unlikely that this position will endear him to the Republican base — it certainly will make it very difficult for me to vote for him in the primary. But it also illustrates that McCain is a man of principle, and every bit the maverick he was in 2000.
Why does the MSM report it the other way? In part, it’s because he’s no longer attacking a man most MSM members intensely dislike. In larger part, I think, it’s because of his uncompromising support of the war in Iraq. Here, again, McCain is (a) true to himself — he’s been calling for something like the surge for several years and (b) a maverick — pushing for “more” of something as unpopular as the war in Iraq goes against the grain.
But the MSM never liked McCain because he’s a maverick and a man of principle. Its members liked him because they thought he was useful.
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