During the December 17 broadcast of MSNBC Live, anchor Tamron Hall said of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): "[H]e's been called, certainly, a maverick, but can he now be called the new comeback kid?" Hall then returned to the "maverick" label, asserting that "McCain now has the support from another maverick in his bid for president," referring to Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-CT) endorsement of McCain.
Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented media figures describing McCain as a "maverick," despite the various instances in which McCain has fallen in line with the Bush administration or the Republican Party establishment or has taken inconsistent positions on a variety of issues. Carolyn Washburn, editor of The Des Moines Register -- the Iowa newspaper that has also endorsed McCain -- moderated the December 12 GOP debate, during which she asked: "Senator McCain, your reputation as a maverick has put you at odds with your own party leadership from time to time. Give us an example of a time you wished you had compromised to get something done instead of holding firm on your ideals."
From the December 17 edition of MSNBC Live:
HALL: Good morning, I'm Tamron Hall. MSNBC is the place for politics. And we start off with John McCain. He's been called, certainly, a maverick, but can he now be called the new comeback kid? Fresh off two key newspaper endorsements over the weekend, Senator McCain now has the support from another maverick in his bid for president. This morning in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, independent Democrat Joe Lieberman, Al Gore's running mate back in 2000, officially announced his endorsement.
LIEBERMAN: We desperately need our next president to break through the reflexive partisanship that is poisoning our politics today and stopping us from getting anything done in Washington for the American people, who are good enough to send us there.