Here’s the question. Will Chris Matthews and Tim Russert deem it newsworthy to interview Cliff Schecter, author of the forthcoming book, The Real McCain. It would be a test of sorts to see if two mainstream, white, male commentators with issues about women, and believed to be in the bag for McCain, would follow up on well substantiated misogyny claims against their guy.
Here’s why such an interview would be important. In the past, these commentators have given McCain a pass for calling senate colleagues, “shitheads,” “assholes” and in at least one case “a fucking jerk.” Perhaps some journalists and talking heads think such comments are pretty cool especially if you are not too concerned with an elected officials’ hair triggered temper, or lack of appropriateness, decorum, and professionalism. How “maverick,” even. Perhaps it’s kinda cool to see your commander in chief call an agonist an asshole, but pretty scary to imagine these words coming out of the mouth of the diplomat in chief, another important presidential assignment. Do we really need another misanthropic president (Cheney, Nixon being others)?
When you add misogyny to the mix, the test is on to see how this white, male McCain fan base might hold his feet to the fire for demeaning not only all women, but his own wife. According to Schecter,
Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain’s intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain’s hair and said, “You’re getting a little thin up there.” McCain’s face reddened, and he responded, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt.” McCain’s excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.”
Think back to how McCain chuckled after one of his supporters referred to Hillary Clinton as “a b*tch.” Hardly the making for a civil and respectful fall campaign, as McCain insistently promises. Seems to me he holds his opponents in deep contempt. Such comments and responses seem hard wired, perhaps exacerbated by the fact that this guy was locked up in solitary confinement for 2 1/2 years. I think the pattern of verbal abuse is cause for discussion and alarm.
Of course the issue has to do with the McCain’s temper, but even more alarmingly is the misogenist and misanthropic ways of seeing the world that would inform a McCain administration. The press has an obligation to investigate such patterns of behavior and abuse.