Nothing quite so macho as playing chicken with the press, or at least this is what the Mccain campaign would have us believe. For the past several weeks, their candidate has been muy macho indeed, flipping of the press as a whole, individual reporters writing for Time and entire newspapers like the NYT.
And as the game “chicken” instructs, somebody has got to flinch and swerve so as not to collide and go up in flames. McCain has us believe he ain’t gonna flinch. The press, which has a long history of flinching when it comes to John McCain, and which, according to Jonathan Alter is still flinching plenty (giving Mccain a free ride), it still seems that the press this time might have the upper hand.
Slowly, a critical mass of mainstream reporters from Alter to Joe Klein to Richard Cohen have turned ugly on the candidate. Unlike four years ago when the Rovian propaganda machine repeated itself as tragedy, this year it is all farce. Rovian acolytes steve schmidt and rick davis are lying with such abandon that even their claims of being lied against are filled with lies. Mccain has lost all crdibility and his veep choice can’t even meet with foreign leaders now without the press leading with the joke, that the campaign can’t even trust her to sit for a photo op with reporters around for fear she might say something really stupid.
Once the narrative solidifies that McCain is a serial liar, his candidacy would be doomed; it becomes difficult to see how he traffics thru the next five weeks to victory.
Although many reporters had personal doubts about “W”‘s bonafides, they kept it to themselves in 2000 and 2004. Once the doubts of the mainstream press become embedded into their stories, the candidate loses all legitimacy and has no chance at winning the election.