We'll see if Slate's Timothy Noah is right about the pundit reaction to Palin's Wednesday night speech.
Marc Ambinder says the McCain camp's assault on the media has some merit: "The McCain campaign's anger at the media is both genuine and contrived. Where are the stories about Joe Biden's lobbyist son?"
Well, here are some:
There's a lot more, and The Google makes it easy to quickly find much of it.
But it's a little harder to find major media mentions of the fact that John McCain's wife was business partners with Charles Keating around the time McCain met with regulators on Keating's behalf. And how many news reports have told voters how much the McCains would save under his tax plan?
Throughout the Democratic primaries, journalists kept insisting that they'd get around to scrutinizing McCain eventually, once the Democrats chose a nominee. They still haven't done so -- not in any serious way. Presumably, the substance-free McCain complaints about the media are an effort to keep it that way. And reporters are falling for it.
Bob Somerby points out two more examples of reporters dutifully typing up the McCain campaign's attacks on the media without bothering to assess their validity -- or giving their readers the tools to do so for themselves. Scroll down to "The Truth Must Not Be Sought."
One pretty good sign that the media treats John McCain much more favorably than the McCain campaign would have you believe is the obedience with which the media uncritically reports the campaign's complaints about coverage.
Case in point: Politico's Jonathan Martin has an article about McCain's attacks on the media, in which he includes this line:
McCain's campaign has also put its words into action, stripping CNN of an opportunity to interview the candidate after what it felt was unfair treatment of an aide in an appearance Monday on the cable channel.
Why does the McCain campaign think the treatment was "unfair"? Martin doesn't tell you. What happened? Martin doesn't tell you. Was it unfair? Martin makes no effort to help readers determine that -- he just "reports" that McCain's camp says it was unfair. Kind of skews things in McCain's favor, doesn't it?
What actually happened in that interview is that McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds touted Sarah Palin's experience as head of the Alaska National Guard, at which point CNN's Campbell Brown asked him for an example of a decision Palin made in that capacity. When Bounds couldn't or wouldn't come up with one, she asked again. That doesn't seem "unfair" to me; that seems like journalism.
And the Politico's decision to simply type up the McCain campaign's complaints without giving any indication of what actually happened seems more like stenography than journalism.