Sunday, September 14, 2008

Unraveling The Myth Of The "Straight Talk Express"

MSNBC's First Read notes the flurry of news coverage over the past few days detailing John McCain's lies and distortions.

The NY Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg News and the Politico all issued stories yesterday exploring the McCain campaign's emphasis on "truthiness" over "straight talk" these past two months.

The Politico sums it up this way:

McCain’s tactics are drawing the scorn of many in the media and organizations tasked with fact-checking the truthfulness of campaigns. In recent weeks, Team McCain has been described as dishonorable, disingenuous and downright cynical.

A series of ads — including accusations that Barack Obama backed teaching sex education to Illinois kindergartners and charges that Obama called Sarah Palin a lipstick-wearing pig — have provoked a cascade of criticism of McCain’s tactics.

The furor presents a breathtaking contrast to McCain’s image as a kind of anti-politician who plays fair, disdains politics as usual and has never forgotten how his 2000 presidential campaign was incinerated by a series of loathsome dirty tricks in the South Carolina primary.


McCain seems to have made a choice that many politicians succumb to but that he had always promised to avoid — he appears ready to do whatever it takes to win, even it if soils his reputation.

“We recognize it’s not going to be 2000 again,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said, alluding to the media’s swooning coverage of McCain’s ill-fated crusade against then-Gov. George W. Bush and the GOP establishment. “But he lost then. We’re running a campaign to win. And we’re not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.”

They're running a campaign to win, they're willing to do and say anything to get there and they don't care what anybody thinks about it.

Great - just what you want in a president and his team - a lack of principle but a ton of cynical expediency.
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