Media gets a lashing at McCain event

September 22, 2008

bristol1.jpgSCRANTON, Pa. – The news media got a brisk scolding from a supporter of Sen. John McCain at the Republican presidential nominee’s town hall meeting on Tuesday.

A woman in the audience thanked the Arizona senator for choosing Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate and accused the media of putting more effort into investigating Palin than  the Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama.

“We want the media to start doing their jobs and stop picking on little children because of their age and their pregnancies,” she said, in reference to Palin’s unwed, pregnant 17-year-old daughter Bristol. “Shame on you. Shame on you.”

McCain waited until the applause died down and replied: “That is a great question.”

“Gov. Palin, she can take it,” he said. “She’s a reformer, and she will bring change, and she will bring reform, and that’s what Americans want very badly today.”

Separately, McCain’s senior advisor Steve Schmidt expressed outrage in a conference call with reporters over coverage of the campaign by The New York Times.

The Times on Monday ran a story saying McCain’s campaign manager worked for several years to help defend mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac against stricter regulations.  The story comes at a time when McCain is criticizing the mortgage giants for avoiding increased regulation.

“Whatever The New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization. It is a pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day attacks the McCain campaign, attacks Senator McCain, attacks Governor Palin, and excuses Senator Obama,” Schmidt said. “This is an organization that is completely, totally, 150 percent in the tank for the Democratic candidate.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Mike Segar (McCain shakes hands with Bristol Palin, who is standing next to boyfriend Levi Johnston at the Republican National Convention)


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First the McCain campaign complained because they weren’t getting enough media coverage and now they complain because their coverage isn’t flattering or positive enough. What a bunch of whiners! Frankly the media has been soft on McCain’s flip flops and Palin’s inexperience and I hope this lambasting from the campaign emboldens them. You might as well try to live up to what they are already saying about you.

Posted by PJ | Report as abusive

I appalud the lady who said of the media “shame on them” and couldn’t agree more. But, what do we expect coming from the leftist-Times? A campaign should be about “what each candidates has accomplished to make them the BEST.” Instead, the biased media (and we all know who that obviously are) elect to publishing Palin’s “family” and personal issues. Doesn’t this simply confirm who the strongest candidates really are??? The leftists don’t want to publish that indeed she has contributed far more than ANY of the Democratic candidates; it’s just not in line with the media’s agenda.

Posted by John Derrick | Report as abusive

I note that Mr. Schmidt does nothing to directly address the charge.

As usual.

Posted by Thomas Stinson | Report as abusive

Note: The McCain campaign never said whether the story about Rick Davis was true or not.

And now the media lemmings are covering the attack on the NY Times instead of the story. Typical.

Posted by Ann | Report as abusive

…and “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” cry the Republicans, when they’re losing.

Seems to me they can’t take the heat of a political campaign, or maybe they’re just not used to having their smear victims fight back.

This day has been coming for a long, long time. It’s time for change.


Posted by Kirk | Report as abusive

The only time I ever hear about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy is when the conservatives start complaining about the so-called liberal media. Otherwise, I never hear about it. Maybe it’s Fox News talking about it all the time? In fact, I just did a search for “Bristol Palin” on the NYT website. The last time a story was done about her was 9/2. I did the same search over at that oh-so-balanced “news” organization Fox and I got hits on 9/22, lots on 9/18, etc.

I would recommend to those who are having trouble with the lack of balance in the media to stop watching/reading Fox News. Seems the most effective way to give Bristol a break.

Posted by Megan | Report as abusive

I don’t know how any responsible news organization in good conscience, can print and distribute the raving lunatic allegations of a Karl Rove trained campaign strategist for John McCain and Sarah Palin. Reuters may just as well bed down with the McCain campaign – for providing distributinon of these completely outrageous lies from the McCain campaign cretins. Reuters should be congratulated for disproving the notion that the press in general, and the NY Times are in particular, against them.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

America NEEDS reformists instead of simply undefined “change” as Obama purports. This reader has yet to hear any specifics as to WHAT will be changed, and this mirrors rhetoric from past foreign dictators who ran on similar platforms. Americans want to hear that our candidates have a plan in moving toward election. Without this valuable component, America risks electing the wrong candidate….sound familiar?

The media’s job is to ask the hard questions of each candidate and report their direct responses for the public to interpret on their own…no spin, no twist, no bias! This IS the responsibility of the media (given they were to have ethics).

Posted by John Derrick | Report as abusive

The media is not a toy.
Partisans will take it in a partisan way.

Just because they post that Rick Davis was a full time lobbyinst for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and got over $2 million does not mean anything except that Davis was a tool of the financial giants trying to avoid regulation.
That McCain would choose him as his chief campaign advisor is something else.

Posted by mtobias | Report as abusive

The media do its job? God forbid! The media apply equal levels of scrutiny to both sides? God forbid! When will the media wake up and admit it is not objective and that its lack of objectivity does more to help Republicans into office than anything else?

Posted by Brett | Report as abusive

I’m concerned that you gave more space to the inane reply by the McCain campaign than the factual reportage that those leading McCain’s campaign have made millions of dollars successfully deregulating the corporate giants that we individual taxpayers must now bail out. I know the Times may be a competitor, but the First Amendment is at risk here.

Posted by Nancy | Report as abusive

In the words of Ronald Reagan, “here we go again”… The media gets reamed for telling the truth about McCain’s campaign. I have one sincere request from all media personnel… don’t let these bullies try to tell you how to do your job…Palin and McCain and McCain’s campaign manager need to be exposed. People need to be well informed in this election. My many thanks for the job you are all doing, except for Fox News, they are not reporting unbiased information. They back McCain and are part of the cloud of disinformation that the public is being subjected to. How can McCain create such distortions about Obama with a clear conscious, knowing that his campaign manager worked hard to get mortgage companies more lenient restrictions, the very cause of the recent economic collapse. And McCain, after voting repeatedly to deregulate the banking and lending industry–now, when it serves his candidacy, as if Americans are too dumb to recognize lies when they hear them, wants to have strict oversight over banks and lenders. And of course, let’s not mention the cost of the war he supports, in spite of majority opinion among Americans that the war should not have occurred in the first place and should end as soon as possible. Last night 60 minutes aired an interview with McCain, after being told that Americans do not support the war, he said–“well Americans are wrong.” We had Bush for 8 years, and McCain offers more of the same, reckless decision making, impulsive behavior, tax benefits for big oil, and a questionable alliance with individuals and corporations at the expense of the American people.

Posted by Aycee T. | Report as abusive

I’ve not seen any news coverage on Palin’s children. To what was the questioner referring?

I DID see the information on McCain’s campaign manager working for several years to help defend mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac against stricter regulations, but I found that to be quite valuable and timely information.

I most definitely do NOT want “more of the same”.

Posted by Jerry Ulibarri | Report as abusive

The Bush-McCain-Republican way of economics DOES NOT WORK. It never did and never will. The markets have crashed and burned, the American people are now footing the bill yet again in the trillions of dollars for the same corporations and Republicans who own them that ruined us economically. When will Americans ever learn. OUR money is now paying THEIR debts, that same money will not go to schools, jobs, health care, environment, Medicare, Social Security, you wait people, the worst is yet to come unless you elect people who know how to handle this, Obama knows, the Democrats know, just ask Bill Clinton, HE knew. We NEVER had problems like this when Clinton was our President, things were the COMPLETE opposite! Stop listening to idiots like McCain and Bush, they LIE LIE LIE, just look what they have done to our country! What more does anyone need to see? How many times do you need to be dropped on your head before you realize, hey that hurts!

Posted by Democrats 08 | Report as abusive

Schmidt is a Rovian robot. Did Davis get paid $2 million by Fannie and Freddie? If “yes,” then he should shut up. If “no,” he should provide proof that the New York Times published erroneous information. Since when is it not good journalism to print the truth? Certainly the American people have a right to know what McCain’s campaign manager may have done to add to the current economic problem. Schmidt’s smear troopers certainly tried to tie Obama to a Freddie Mac manager claiming FALSELY that he was an Obama adviser. As for MSNBC being a tool of the Democrats, what about Fox News and the Washington Times? It’s pot and kettle time again.

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

I think tons of real people need to raise HUGE cain on how sadly our media is performing. The reason it is sooo important is because many people take what the media writes/tells as gospel. They do no independant research. Our society is crippled by what television produces and what our media spins. One huge reason I vote for McCain? Becuase if the media hates him, he must be credible!

Posted by Media Shame | Report as abusive

Why if NYT published a story regarding Steve Schmidt has to be pro – Obama?
Is it a true story or it is a wrong and incorrect? That’s the question!

Posted by George | Report as abusive

He’s right. There are no (unbiased) news organizations left in the world. They have all been bought. And probably long before we noticed.

Didn’t you guys ever hear of OCR? The least you could do is make your “security” word in handwritten script to make it a challenge. But whatever you do, there is software smarter than the general populace. After all, that’s not very smart or you wouldn’t still be in business.

Posted by Geoffrey Frances York | Report as abusive

Well, of course, the NY Times is pro-Obama. Why? Because it dared to run its own story rather than the McCain Campaign pre-debate copy points written by Steve Schmidt.

Apparently, former execs of Fannie & Freddie, incensed by McCain’s false attack ad re Obama’s association with Franklin Raines, came forward to reveal that Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, earned $2,000,000 as their lobbyist “to defend them against stricter regulations” and because of “his closeness to John McCain and because McCain would be running for the presidency.”

All this time that smiling McCain has been calling out Obama for being in bed with Fannie & Freddie, it’s really the McCain camp that was!! McCain’s campaign manager-lobbyist collected a cool $2,000,000 for putting American voters and the economy at risk – – and McCain both approved what he was doing and showed up like a good boy. The Times has a grinning photo of McCain from 2004, standing beside the F&F lobbyists at one of their events.

All this hypocritical political posturing from McCain about “oversight” and “regulation” needed and Wall Street greed – – and all the time, HE ENABLED THE COLLAPSE OF US ECONOMY, and is now distancing himself from his prior policies just to get elected.

But McCain would rather run an attack ad accusing Obama of enabling the Fannie & Freddie collapse, trying to suggest that Obama had some unethical connection to Franklin Raines.

McCain cannot be trusted. It really is time his fellow Republicans and mainstream media stood up for propriety and called a halt to McCain Campaign’s unethical conduct. This is a critical election and the American voting public deserves more respect.

Posted by Annemarie | Report as abusive

McCain operatives’ use of Karl Rove-ian Best Methods: Repeatedly and regularly, point a finger of illegitimacy at any information outlet that might cause the targeted supporters to think too critically or too much.

In effect, the best thing that can happen for the supported candidate in an endeavor reliant on Karl Rove-ian techniques is that early in the process, based on party affiliation or non-issue based biases or preferences, each supporter strongly or weakly decides to vote for the target candidate and thereafter is never subjected to any new election information; 2nd preference – said supporter will automatically reject new election information critical of supported candidate based on a programmed perception that the source is illegitimate.

Of course, such “Best Methods” are dependent on what appears to be a Karl Rove-ian view that implicitly and emphatically asserts the general and natural gullibility or prejudice of the American electorate. In the words of Kurt Vonnegut, “And so it goes.”

Posted by DMD | Report as abusive

McCain’s getting desperate… he’s starting to yell at the playing field … lol

Why would America REWARD complete Republican failure ?

We wont.

Posted by PulSamsara | Report as abusive

I find this hard to argue as “biased”:  /

Posted by Kris | Report as abusive

It’s nice to see the Republicans resorting to playground tactics in order to avoid discussing the real issues. The bullies are finally getting pushed around and they don’t like it. Welcome to the party!

Posted by Paul Rafael | Report as abusive

By the way Schmidt, how Fox doing over there? still 200% Republican?

Posted by Paul Rafael | Report as abusive

“Gov. Palin’s a reformer, claims John McCain?

Well, let’s take a look at Gov. (and V.P. candidate) Palin’s recent pledge to cooperate fully with the legislative investigation into her firing of Alaska’s Public Saftey Director.

Questions have arisen, tying that firing to the Director’s rufusal to fire or transfer “up North” Sarah Palin’s ex-brother-in-law (a State trooper) during a messy divorce and child custody case with Sahah’s sister.

The cooperation promised by Gov. Palin should be expected in a country based on laws and the division of power between the executive and legislative branches of government.

Yet just this past Friday subpoenas issued by the legally constituted legislative body investigating this matter were ignored by Gov. Palin’s husband and several of the Governor’s closest aides: they not only refused to testify, they didn’t even show up for the hearing.

Following Gov. Sarah Palin’s logic, an executive committee, made up of individuals she herself has appointed, should be charged with this matter.

That would be the “executive investigating the executive”.

That was the situation that applied back when we were a British colony, with the Crown investigating the Crown! Other places where this principle rules are generally called “banana republics”.

Interestingly, all the press releases related to these events are now coming from “McCain campaign officials”, and in particular from “McCain spokesman Ed O’Callaghan”.

Has McCain and his Rove-Gang now also taken over the Governor’s Office of the State of Alaska?

The real story here is not just this case of willful obstruction of justice by Gov. Sarah Palin’s husband and her closest aides (motivated, one must assume, by their desire to shield Gov. Palin from abuse of office charges, which if proven could lead to her impeachment as Governor).

Rather, it’s that before our very eyes, a tightly-knitted conspiracy to obstruct justice is being organized and perpetrated by none other than the candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, Mr. John McCain himself, and his closest aides.

If this will not convince law-abiding citizens of our country that this team of law-benders and law-breakers must be kept out of the White House, what will?

I plea with all voters who respect the rule of law in our country to withhold their vote from McCain/Palin, and cast their vote for Obama/Biden.

Our country should not be subjected to 4 more years of such lawlessness in high office.

Posted by aix853 | Report as abusive

The media is and has been in the tank for Obama since the primaries.

Posted by n8whit | Report as abusive

Let’s call it ‘advocacy journalism’ and claim responsibility for it as American Citizens.

All the sensationalism, negativity, and political posturing are a result of the degradation of core values. The answer to restoring lost values is to restore them within ourselves first. IF YOU WANT RESPECT – SHOW RESPECT, for yourself and everyone around you. Our family, our neighbors, our media, our leaders will reflect our expectations. This is a Government ‘by the people and for the people’, meaning, Americans must set the standard for our leaders, not the other way around. Our Government is a mirror image of US. No leader can save us, we must save ourselves.

Let’s call it the ‘duty of citizenship’.

We should have the courage to rebuke those around us who fail to live up to a certain standard, and hold those with influence responsible for their actions. We all share what was formerly the one of the greatest honors of all – to be called an AMERICAN. We will lose this honor if we can’t stop blaming everyone else, and start holding ourselves to a higher standard. Finger pointing is an act of cowardice and before you jump on the bandwagon and blame McCain, you had better go look in the mirror FIRST.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Economy: Obama Wins
National Security: Obama will win on Friday

All that remains is to try to smear Obama and whine about the media for “unfair” treatment.

Posted by frankie d | Report as abusive

John McCain has handled these last couple weeks of economic crisis with class, thoroughness and in depth support for accountability and transparency.

McCain came out before the AIG failure and called for a bi-partisan committee to look into the failures that were occurring within the economic system.

Soon after that Obama mocked McCain and said we don’t need an investigative bi-partisan committee to look into the financial crisis to find how best to fix the economy like people such as John McCain have called for. Obama said “We know how we got into this mess” and implied he already knows how to fix it. I guess Obama just wants to jump in and make hasty changes because he already knows it all and will hope for the best without meticulously gathering detailed information and bi-partisan support.

I guess Obama also doesn’t have the experience (or recklessly doesn’t care) to know that their are 435 house of representative members and 100 senate members and Democrats wont get much done alone without a bi-partisan effort which includes the other major party (Republicans) in agreement. Also seems Obama doesn’t have the experience or hasn’t studied history enough to know not to make a whole bunch of campaign promises that can’t be delivered upon without both parties in agreement in a bi-partisan effort as that is the only sure and effective way to bring about good lasting change and not end up a lame duck. Or maybe Obama just hopes we’re all stupid enough to have not studied history and that we wont remember all the past campaign promises from previous candidates who were elected and which never carried out their promises either because the candidate lied during the campaign and never had any intention of doing so or because he spoke beyond his means without taking into account the role of congress.

About a week later the AIG failure came into public purview and McCain came out and said he would fire the SEC president, which if the president made the case he needed to be replaced I highly doubt the president would have much trouble firing him/her and McCain said from the start that he did not whole heartedly approve of the Bush administrations plans for handling the AIG failure with tax payer buyout money and that their current ideas need further investigation.

Obama said “I fully support the efforts of Secretary Paulson and [Fed Chief] Ben Bernanke to work in a bipartisan manner with Congress to find a solution.” So now Obama is willing to work with a bi-partisan committee to find out what the problem is and consequentially find solutions to the economic crisis in America. Something he said didn’t need to be done because he already knew the problems. Manipulative, as a week earlier he was mocking McCain for calling for that very same bi-partisan effort.

Last week Obama came out and said McCain is panicking… yet Obama doesn’t come out for about a week with any statements containing solutions to this AIG economic matter of historical proportions that needs fast attention.

McCain, showing his experience, stated that while he supports Paulson he also will call for greater oversight of Paulson’s economic bail out plan by advocating the creation of a bi-partisan oversight panel possibly consisting of people like Mitt Romney (a republican), Warren Buffet (a democrat) and Michael Bloomberg (an Independent) among others to oversee the possible 700 Billion dollars that Paulson would have control of spending.

Yet some people still believe the Obama trash talk that he is better for the economy?

John McCain has a real history of being open minded enough to work in a bi-partisan effort to fix problems by bringing democrats, republicans and independents together. he has the experience to know that is the only way to make America stronger.

“I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Sen. Obama does not.” – John McCain

Posted by CJ | Report as abusive

rove showing his face after thumbing his nose at congressional mandates just another reason that republicans are finished…

Posted by richard j | Report as abusive

America is going down the drain – thanks to Bush’s and Cheney’s administration in the last 8 years. Can anyone just name ONE (I don’t need two or three), only one, good thing that this administration has done for our country in the last 8 years? I guess when people get hit hard in their pocket books, they are not jumping on the bandwagon of “Spreading democracy around the world” anymore. Terrorism actually starts right here at home with inept leaders and greedy CEOs, and people with negative IQs that would still vote for them.

Posted by dee | Report as abusive

I am not an Obama fan but now you say he is spreading lies about you. Everything here is a lie? You tell us.

Possibly charged rape kits to victims, does not believe in evolution, religion is questionable, encourages shooting bears and wolves from lowing flying planes, troopergate, no abortions for rape or incest, supported the bridge to no where before she opposed it. Has a pregnant teenager, her only experiences with Foreign Relations is the fact she can see Russia from AL, Questioned a librarian about book banning and later the librarian was fired. Does not believe in Global Warming, and left her city in debt as Mayor.

Cannot stand the heat – better get out of the kitchen.

Posted by whynot | Report as abusive

To be fair the “media” did not get Bristol knocked up. The “little children” did that on their own. What happened to out of wedlock pregnancy as the target of shame. Shame on who?
Is it just me or does this whole Palin saga sound like the first ten minutes of the show “City Confidential”? I keep expecting the next segment to have the body discovered.

Posted by Rodger Lemonde | Report as abusive