Alex Massie

McCain’s Coming Media Hurricane?

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At TAPPED Paul Waldman hails this Arizona Republic piece questioning MCain's "maverick" credentials and then asks:

One thing I've noticed lately is that there are a bunch of Chicago reporters (like Lynn Sweet and Jim Warren, for instance) who have become regulars on cable TV, presumably because they know a lot about Barack Obama. But the reporters who have known John McCain the longest and know him the best -- the ones from Arizona -- are nowhere to be seen. Why do you think that is?

Clearly, we're supposed to impute some pro-McCain or pro-conservative bias here. But it's much more likely that the truth is that while the BHO vs HRC stramash continues no-one gives a damn about John McCain. Now of course it's true that McCain gets a very generous press (partly because - canny man! - he gives the press greater access than do other candidates) but it's also true that November is a very long way away.

It's also true that McCain has, until now, generally (though not always) been the upstart outsider and upstart outsiders almost always receive more indulgent press than do front-runners. He's never received the attention a nominee must endure however, and I suspect that McCain will have to endure tougher press coverage than he's ever received before. One reason for that is, as I say, that he could actually be President now; another is that having been pretty soft on Obama for some time, the press knows it can't be soft on McCain too. Equally, the memory of past cheerleading for McCain will prod some editors to redouble their "vetting" efforts this time around.

In other words, expect to see Matt Welch, author of McCain: The Myth of a Maverick on TV a lot this summer.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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