Friday, April 25, 2008

Media Myths of McCain

from MediaMatters: Free ride

Media Myths of McCain
  1. John McCain is a maverick.
  2. John McCain is a moderate.
  3. John McCain is a straight-talker.
  4. John McCain is a reformer.
  5. John McCain doesn't do things just because they're politically expedient.
  6. Just about all you need to know about John McCain's character is that he showed courage as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
  7. John McCain has too much integrity to use his war record to his political advantage.
  8. John McCain is the lobbyist's biggest enemy.
  9. The media honeymoon with John McCain is over.
  10. John McCain has considerable foreign policy expertise.
  1. John McCain is a maverick.
It sometimes seems that you can't read a story about John McCain without seeing him referred to as a "maverick." But is it true?

Perhaps no word has been used to describe John McCain more often than "maverick." In January and February of 2008 alone, McCain was called a "maverick" more than 1,300 times in newspapers and on television. And those who use the label to describe McCain rarely explain just what he has done to earn it. But a closer examination of his record shows that McCain isn't quite the maverick that he is made out to be. The truth is that McCain's breaks from the Republican Party line are few and far between. According to Congressional Quarterly's "party unity" ratings, since he came to the Senate in 1989, there have been only three years in which McCain voted with his party less than 80 percent of the time. When he has gone against the party line -- such as on campaign finance reform, global warming, or tobacco regulations -- McCain has taken a position that was overwhelmingly popular with the public, meaning that when he takes a "maverick" stance, he's gaining support with the public -- and hardly taking a political risk.
(Continued here.)


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