Fear and Loathing

23 March 2008

In his 1973 book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Hunter S. Thompson made the following observation:

The most consistent and ultimately damaging failure of political journalism in America has its roots in the clubby/cocktail personal relationships that inevitably develop between politicians and journalists. When professional antagonists become after-hours drinking buddies, they are not likely to turn each other in. . . . especially not for 'minor infractions' of rules that neither side takes seriously; and on the rare occasions when Minor infractions suddenly become Major, there is panic on both ends.
Now watch this video by John McCain's daughter:

I hope that the press will point out that McCain doesn't know whether or not contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV, that his tax plan will put us further in debt at a time when the fastest growing expense in the country is interest on that $9 trillion debt, that he has said wildly inaccurate things about the economy, that he has said outright false things about who is contributing money to his campaign, that he lied about Mitt Romney during the debates, that he supports comically ineffective abstinence-only programs, etc.. But I predict that they'll be more likely to cover the "I'd like to have a beer with him" aspect. Granted he is a very likable guy, but I'm feeling a considerable amount of fear and loathing at the idea of 8 more months of campaign coverage (to the exclusion of real policy discussion).

(h/t Glenn Greenwald)

UPDATE: There's also this from Bob Somerby, recounting a birthday party for John McCain back in 2004 attended by Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Barbara Walters, Charlie Rose (say it ain't so, Charlie!) and all the other major media figures. Does anybody else think that this is kinda inappropriate?

UPDATE II: Even McCain's economic advisers acknowledge that McCain's plan "will make deficits expand." On the other side of the fence, even the Wall Street Journal (grudgingly) notes that Obama's plan "adds up" (article available here, though you need either a subscription or access to Lexis).

1 comment:

Utah Savage said...

This clubbiness of the press and McCain has been disturbing to me for a long time. How charming can one old warrior with lingering PTSD be? Does he pay for the drinks? I never thought he was smart enough to be a Senator, but when you look at most of the rest of the republicans in the Senate...... Well, dems. too, Hillary didn't read the intel on Iraq before she cast the vote she won't apologize for. Undoubtedly the most important vote of her life.