Sunday, September 07, 2008

mccain campaign sets controls over media access to sarah palin

I'm getting really disappointed in John McCain. For someone who claims not to be a regular Republican, he sure is acting like one.

It's been an increasingly trope of the Republican Party since the days of Richard Nixon to complain that the media have it in for them. We can argue and debate how much merit there is to accusations of liberal media bias, but it seems there are times conservatives like to trot this out because they don't like being caught unprepared.

For a political party that claims people need to stop blaming outside forces for their failures and find success through hard work, the GOP does like to blame negative perceptions on the news media.

Case in point: The McCain campaign has announced that Alaska Gov. and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will no longer answer questions from reporters "until the point in time when she'll be treated with respect and deference." Gov. Palin apparently has made it a practice in the past not to talk to just any media, but only to those who put her in a favorable light.

It's not a liberal bias that makes Gov. Palin look unprepared for the big time. It's the fact that she's unprepard to answer even basic questions, even when someone like Katie Couric throws her a bunch of softballs.

The governor's answers in her interviews have shown a lack of depth and understanding and a ready defensiveness that are enough to make anyone question her fitness for the vice presidency, let alone the presidency, should McCain win and something happen to him.

Limiting press access to Palin to strictly favorable outlets disturbs me. While McCain talks about straight talk and bringing us together, actions such as this contribute to further polarizing the nation by encouraging a divide in how we get our information.

Our nation doesn't need conservative media and liberal media, we need news media, period. We also need politicians who aren't so afraid of the public that they feel a need to control how they appear in the media.

But that control is exactly what McCain is aiming for. So much for straight talk.

Copyright © 2008 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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