Or are these good points about things the press either did or did not do well this week?
There was no suspension of his campaign. His surrogates
remained on television. Huffington Post bloggers, working the phones, couldn’t
single McCain campaign office that had gone on hiatus. This “suspension”
ruse was an exact replay of McCain’s self-righteous “suspension” of the G.O.P.
convention as Hurricane Gustav arrived on Labor Day. “We will put aside our
political hats and put on our American hats,” he declared
then, solemnly pledging that conventioneers would help those in need. But as
anyone in the Twin Cities could see, the assembled put on their party hats
instead, piling into the lobbyists’ bacchanals earlier than scheduled, albeit on
Much of the press paid lip service to McCain’s new “suspension”
as it had to its prototype. In truth, the only campaign activity McCain did drop
was a Wednesday evening taping with David Letterman. Don’t mess with Dave.
Picking up where the “The View” left off in speaking truth to power, the
uncharacteristically furious host
hammered the absent McCain on and off for 40 minutes, repeatedly observing
that the cancellation “didn’t smell right.”
In a journalistic coup de grâce
worthy of “60 Minutes,” Letterman went on to unmask his no-show guest as a liar.
McCain had phoned himself that afternoon to say he was “getting on a plane
immediately” to deal with the grave situation in Washington, Letterman told the
audience. Then he
showed video of McCain being touched up by a makeup artist while awaiting an
interview by Couric that same evening at another CBS studio in New York.
It’s not hard to guess why McCain had blown off Letterman for Couric at the
last minute. The McCain campaign’s high anxiety about the disastrous
Couric-Palin sit-down was skyrocketing as advance excerpts flooded the Internet.
By offering his own interview to Couric for the same night, McCain hoped (in
vain) to dilute Palin’s primacy on the “CBS Evening News.”
mordant laughs on Wednesday came when he riffed about McCain’s campaign
“suspension”: “Do you suspend your campaign? No, because that makes me think
maybe there will be other things down the road, like if he’s in the White House,
he might just suspend being president. I mean, we’ve got a guy like that