McCain spokesman John King of CNN

Asking "questions" that would be too reverent even for McCain's press secretary

By Glenn Greenwald
January 12, 2008 3:49PM (UTC)
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CNN reporter John King had the opportunity to interview GOP presidential candidate John McCain last night on McCain's press bus, and these are all of the "questions" he asked:

* JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You were speaking yesterday on the one-year anniversary of the president calling for the troop surge about how, A, you think it was the right policy, and, B, you think, frankly, you a little deserve credit, because you stood up and pushed for it when it was unpopular.

It was interesting yesterday. I kept looking at my BlackBerry e-mails all day long. I didn't hear the Democratic candidates talking much about that date. What does that tell you about the evolution of the politics of Iraq, if you will?

* KING: As you know, one of the issues you have had here in South Carolina in the past is either people don't understand your social conservative record or they're not willing to concede your social conservative record.

There's a mailing that hit South Carolina homes yesterday. It's a picture of you and Cindy on the front. It says "Always pro-life, 24-year record." Why do you think you still, after all this time, have to convince these people, "I have been with you from the beginning"?

* KING: The flip side of that mailing shows Cindy holding Bridget ... tiny Bridget, at the Bangladesh orphanage. As you know, some heinous and horrible things were said in the campaign eight years ago about you and about your daughter. Is that mailing in any way meant to tell people, here's the truth?

* KING: You feel good about the state this time?

That was the whole interview -- all four questions. To recap: (1) Democrats want to ignore your Glorious Surge; what does that tell you, huh? (2) Why are South Carolina voters failing to recognize what a stalwart rock-ribbed conservative you've always been? (3) Your baby daughter is absolutely beautiful and it was reprehensible what was done to you and her in 2000. (4) How great do you feel? End of "interview."


I'm asking this question literally, not rhetorically: if McCain's actual Press Secretary (rather than one of his many de facto ones in the press corps) had conducted this "interview," how would it have been any different? Maybe they would have at least tried to pretend the questions were a little more probing, less adulating, just for the sake of appearances if not basic dignity. It ended this way:

KING: You feel good about the state this time?

MCCAIN: Feel good. But I...


MCCAIN: ... have felt good about this far out some years ago. We're not -- but we're not revisiting the past.

Yes, I feel good, John.

KING: Senator, thank you very much.

MCCAIN: Thanks.

If you wanted to create a parody simultaneously mocking the drooling vapidity of our media stars and their giggly collective crush on John McCain, it would be impossible to create something more illustrative than what John King did here. For reverent, propagandizing behavior from our Liberal Media comparable to this, one has to go all the way back to . . . the 2000-2005 lionization of the Great Warrior King, George W. Bush. That McCain press bus is virtually pornographic.

Glenn Greenwald

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