While there have been many respectful tributes to John McCain in the media in the past few days, there was a time when the liberal press weren’t always supportive of the war hero and independent-minded Senator from Arizona — particularly when he was getting in the way of their progressive agenda.
A look back at McCain’s relationship with the press, over the decades, shows it was complicated at best.
Yes, when he was playing the role of the “maverick,” bucking conservatives on issues like campaign finance, global warming or the closing down of Guantanamo, they brought him on their shows to embarrass or ostracize conservatives. He was the ultimate “even Republican,” as in “even Republicans” like John McCain think conservatives are being extreme on this or that issue.
McCain, for his part, cultivated the liberal press as they piled into his “Straight Talk Express” 2000 campaign bus. They preferred him as the more moderate choice to then-candidate George W. Bush. But when it was his turn at the top of the 2008 GOP ticket, when he became the obstacle to a liberal Barack Obama presidency, the media that once adulated him, turned on the Arizona senator.
Back then, former CBS News correspondent Bernie Goldberg, in a February 7, 2008 appearance on FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor called it right: “I do think he [John McCain] gets good treatment….The media like him because he’s the one who pokes his thumb in Republican and conservative eyes, mostly conservative eyes. But as soon as it’s McCain against Obama or Clinton, the media goes over to the other side.” Full Article https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/geoffrey-dickens/2018/08/27/media-loved-mccain-except-when-he-got-their-way