McCain's "triumph" over a nonexistent heckler

CNN's Jim Acosta accuses a high school student of "heckling the senator" at an event in Virginia, but she was perfectly polite.

By Steve Benen

Published April 7, 2008 3:40PM (EDT)

It's painful to think we'll have seven more months of this kind of media coverage of the McCain campaign.

To briefly recap, John McCain visited his old high school in Northern Virginia last week, for what was clearly a campaign event (part of a "bio tour" that may have been concocted by Karl Rove). A 16-year-old student at the school respectfully asked McCain to clarify why he was at the school, if not for political purposes. McCain ultimately said he'd hoped that attendance at his campaign event was not compulsory, and apologized if it was.

Noting the exchange, CNN's Jim Acosta accused the student of "heckling the senator," and twice more called her a "heckler." (For the record, McCain opened the floor to questions and called on the student. She was polite. In no way was this "heckling.")

To end the segment, CNN's Acosta told viewers, "John McCain, who is no stranger to incoming fire, [was] able to handle that heckler there in Alexandria, Va."

One wonders, if McCain aides themselves had written the CNN script, whether it would have been this sycophantic.

Digby added: "Is there really no occasion where the McCain's Hannah Montana fanboys don't find it necessary to mention his mighty warrior mien? Even questions from high schoolers?"

Steve Benen

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