Describing John McCain's alleged rationale for not mentioning '60s radical William Ayers in the second presidential debate, rising liberal media darling Rachel Maddow recently attributed a dubious quote to McCain -- "I didn't have the guts."
Wow -- McCain said that? Well, not exactly.
Maddow, making the assertion during a broadcast of her Air America Radio show, cited politicalwire.com as her source. Here's how it was reported at politicalwire.com on Oct. 14 in a brief post titled, "McCain Pledges to Bring Up Ayers in Debate" --
It appears Sen. John McCain will take Sen. Barack Obama up on his challenge.
In an interview on a St. Louis radio station, McCain said Obama's comments that "I didn't have the guts" to talk about William Ayers in the last presidential debate have "probably ensured" that the former 1960s radical will come up in Wednesday's debate.
In other words, McCain stated the words, "I didn't have the guts," at least according to politicalwire.com -- but McCain was quoting Obama saying this about him, McCain.
Having cited politicalwire.com as her source for the unlikely "quote" from McCain, Maddow went on to describe it this way on her Oct. 14 Air America broadcast, initially referring to McCain not mentioning Ayers in the first debate:
He was finally asked about that in an interview with a radio station in Missouri and he said, quote, I didn't have the guts, end quote, to talk about Ayers to Obama's face in the last presidential debate - I didn't have the guts. And so either that means he's going to run for president on a campaign of, I'm gutless, or that means he's going to bring up Bill Ayers in the next debate.
Click here for mp3 audio.
I'll give Maddow the benefit of a doubt that she misread the politicalwire.com report and did not intentionally distort McCain's words. Others may not be so inclined for a person with a doctorate in political science - and from Oxford at that. Maddow's assertion is like hearing someone claim that Sarah Palin loves being a vegetarian or how Ronald Reagan lived for each and every new issue of The Nation. A healthy skepticism would be warranted, one's politics aside.
Question is, will Maddow have the "guts" to acknowledge her gaffe? So far that hasn't happened, at least not on her radio show or cable program on MSNBC.