Monday, August 18, 2008

Saint McCain Suckups

In addition to the takedown provided by Media Matters, I have to say that Kurtz and Mason are way off the mark in claiming that McCain "acknowledged" his responsibility for the breakup of his first marriage. Rather than accepting blame - an appropriate step considering that he cheated on his wife and then threw her over for his much younger paramour - McCain addressed his adultery in the third person as "the failure of my first marriage." Mistakes were made; the marriage failed. Who was responsible? He doesn't say.

Now some may say this is a quibble; after all, it's common knowledge that McCain cheated and that this caused his marriage to fail. However, the so-called "admission" to Rick Warren and those watching was the kind of evasive, avoidant parsing often used by Bush and his cronies when claiming to "take responsibility" without accepting any personal blame.

Media Matters - Kurtz and Mason falsely suggested it was "new information" that McCain "acknowledged" his responsibility for failed first marriage
On the August 17 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, Houston Chronicle White House correspondent Julie Mason characterized as "extraordinary" the response Sen. John McCain gave during the August 16 Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency to a question about his "greatest moral failure." Commenting on McCain's response that his "greatest moral failing" was "the failure of my first marriage," Mason said: "I think McCain really did something extraordinary when -- the way he answered that question. ... He addressed an issue that the campaign has been having a hard time figuring out how to deal with. They've wanted to confront it, it's out there on the Internet, it's something that Democrats are trying to use against McCain. So he put it out there, he acknowledged it. And he sort of inoculated himself against it. I think that's really going to help him." Host Howard Kurtz similarly said: "McCain has acknowledged that he was not faithful in his first marriage, but not necessarily before a national television audience." But contrary to Mason's and Kurtz's suggestion, there was little new in McCain's assertion regarding his first marriage: McCain has repeatedly "acknowledged" his responsibility for the breakup of his first marriage in his memoir, in interviews, and "before a national television audience."
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