Friday, July 25, 2008



But the obsession with the old, with documents that are outside the public's sight line, with interviews and the promise of off-message moments that they bring, comes out of an underlying worldview in journalism: That politicians are all bullshit artists, that politics is all artifice, and the reporter's job is to cynically expose it as such and then peer behind the curtain to uncover the moments of spontaneity and honesty.

McCain's desginated fluffer in Newsweek:

When John McCain descended on a Bethlehem, Penn. grocery store late yesterday afternoon, the unscheduled campaign stop, meant to highlight McCain's concern over skyrocketing food prices, instead quickly became a theater for the absurd. First, a cameraman knocked over several glass jars of Mott's applesauce, which rolled near McCain's feet as he posed for a bevy of cameras while strolling the grocery aisles. Then, the senator's hastily assembled press conference, held in front of a perishable food case labeled "Dairy Delights," was interrupted by the scream of the store's P.A. system announcing a staffer had a phone call. Finally, there was the fact that Renee Gould, the young mother McCain had an extended chat with about the high price of tomatoes and milk, was not a random shopper, but an area resident funneled to the campaign by the local Republican Party. Gould's admission (a reporter cornered her and asked how she came to be there) was ultimately not all that surprising. Even with the amusing mishaps, the entire event came off as canned, and McCain—whose discomfort with the phoniness required by politics has always been evident—spent most of his time shifting uncomfortably.

McCain stages phony event, is bad at it, and this is evidence of how awesome he is because he doesn't like all that phony political stuff.