Just said the press turned on McCain because he's no longer bashing conservatives. The far-right press critic dismissed the idea that it's because the press has been turned off by the falsehoods being churned out by the McCain campaign. And Goldberg said the fact that McCain has completely eliminated his interaction with the campaign press has played no role in the tone of the media coverage.
Best line: Goldberg claimed McCain would be getting much better press if he'd picked "liberal Democrat" Joe Lieberman as his running mate.
I kid, but this actually scares me to death. The Newark Star-Ledger, the largest newspaper in NJ, and one of the best second-tier dailies in the country, might be shut down in January? I realize there are union negotiations going on and the new note from the publisher might just be an attempt to new huge concessions. But as a loyal reader I can attest that the newspaper is getting thinner by the day.
Let's add these folks to the list of journalists who, while reporting the McCain/Blackberry story, falsely suggested Al Gore ever claimed to have "invented" the Internet:
NBC's Mark Murray: "And Al Gore invented the internet!"
The Wall Street Journal's Elizabeth Holmes: "If Al Gore invented the Internet, then maybe John McCain helped invent the BlackBerry?"
Politico reports that scribes covering McCain, upset that they haven't had any access to him in more than 30 days, staged a mini-insurrection on the campaign airplane, with chants of "Bring Mac back!" The McCamp just laughed:
The chanting lasted under a minute as staffers in the business cabin smiled and then promptly closed the curtain between business and coach.
Here's an idea, maybe the traveling press should write front-pages news articles and fill up the cable airwaves with stories about how McCain and his running mate remain hermetically sealed from the press and that the candidates refuse to answer the simplest question. Maybe that would produce some results. Or do journalists think the veil of secrecy will magically be lifted on the 45th day?
And it's the press' fault. Why? "Because the political press has consciously folded its work into the larger entertainment culture."
... as Brit Hume almost lets the truth slip out.
Reporting on a McCain advisor's comments crediting John McCain for the development of the Blackberry, FOX's Brit Hume made the obligatory comparison to Al Gore. For a moment there, it seemed Hume was actually going to describe Gore's comments about the Internet truthfully. But Hume is a veteran newscaster - a real pro - and was able to catch himself and adjust mid-sentence to deliver the standard media lie about Al Gore:
HUME: Another McCain advisor, economic advisor trying to make a point ended up implying at least that the Arizona senator had helped create the Blackberry -- that's the communications device, not the fruit. Douglas Holtz-Eakin was referring to McCain's work on telecommunications deregulation back in the 1990s. He waved his Blackberry and said, quote, "You're looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create." The analogy immediately conjured up memories of the claim that Al Gore, made by him, invented the Internet. The McCain campaign quickly issued a statement saying Holtz-Eakin's statement was merely a less-than-effective attempt at humor.
Ah, no. Al Gore didn't say he "invented the Internet." Hume and his colleagues have been lying about that for years. Last night, Hume almost let the truth slip out - that people have claimed (falsely) that Al Gore said he invented the Internet.
By the way: Rather than cracking wise about Al Gore, Brit Hume might have offered viewers an assessment of whether John McCain's actions in the Senate really did help lead to the creation of the Blackberry. Think Progress and Steve Benen suggest they did not. But Brit Hume is too busy taking cheap (and false) shots at Al Gore to assess the validity of Holtz-Eakin's claim.
TPM's Greg Sargent notes that CNN's Candy Crowley doesn't think it is her job to tell viewers which candidate is lying more.
But it is her job to baselessly speculate that people won't vote for a candidate who drinks green tea. It is her job to falsely characterize the Democrats' message as "we don't support the troops and we're not tough on national security."
Just a note regarding the supreme irony in the unfolding McCain/Blackberry story. Wired has now posted a news item that begins:
Al Gore may have invented the internet, but it's Republican presidential candidate John McCain we have to thank for the "miracle" of the BlackBerry, his top economic adviser said Tuesday.
It's false to claim that Al Gore ever said he invented the Internet. An entire books could be filled with the detailed debunking of that story. But Wired doesn't seem to care. And Wired today isn't alone. Lots of news orgs are having fun with the McCain story by comparing to Gore's claim of inventing the Internet.
The deep irony is that it was a Wired News report in 1999 that officially kicked off the Al Gore-invented-the-Internet charade because it was a Wired reporter who took Gore's overlooked comments made on CNN about the creation of the Internet and suggested Gore had taken credit for it; a Wired claim the GOP then picked up, inserted the word "invented," and and then pushed to an eager press corps.
Days later Wired News returned to the story and reported Gore "claimed to have invented the Internet."
Nine years later and Wired is still trafficking the falsehood.
Over at the Media Research Center's Newsbusters blog, Noel Sheppard takes issue with this exchange between CNN's Anderson Cooper and Candy Crowley:
ANDERSON COOPER: Candy, no doubt -- very quickly -- on the campaign trail, it obviously played a big role today. You anticipate, in the days ahead, issue number one, it's going to be front and center?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN: Oh, absolutely.
I mean, listen, just as foreclosures were showing up on B-17, or in the real estate section, along comes this horrific headline out of Wall Street.
ANDERSON COOPER: Right.
CROWLEY: I mean, this is what they wanted. They believe, of course, that the economy is one of their strengths and that they can paint John McCain as George Bush.
Sheppard's complaint? "The nation's banking system is collapsing, and members of CNN are not only discussing how it helps Obama, but are admitting that this is what his campaign wanted. How disgraceful."
Crowley's comments are objectionable, all right -- but not for the reason Sheppard thinks. Read Crowley's comments again. She accused Barack Obama of rooting for economic difficulties. Sheppard thinks Crowley is "admitting" the Obama campaign wanted this. No, she's baselessly accusing them of wanting this.
Don't believe me? Try a little thought experiment. Imagine that Candy Crowley said in response to a terrorist attack that "this is what the McCain campaign wanted. They believe, of course, that fighting terrorism is one of their strengths." Do you think Noel Sheppard would say Candy Crowley "admitted" the McCain campaign wanted a terrorist attack? Of course not. He'd blast Crowley, saying she smeared McCain by saying he was rooting against America. And he would be right.