Well, I guess the McCain campaign really did get tough on the New York Times. Yesterday, leftist columnist Maureen Dowd was told she was no longer welcome on McCain's campaign plane and had to go home with her tail between her legs. Tim McNulty of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Mo's parting shot was a charge that because of this incident McCain is somehow against the First Amendment like she imagines Dick Cheney is.
Rather amusingly, she was dumped in the middle of Pennsylvania, too. After an August 30 rally in Washington, PA, she was told she could not get back on the plane. The rest of the press corps loaded up and off they flew leaving poor Mo standing there in shock.
Naturally, instead of seeing this as just deserts, Dowd goes on to blame everyone else.
"It was disappointing because I didn't think John McCain would ever be as dismissive of the First Amendment as Dick Cheney."
Sorry, Mo, but you shouldn't expect to be welcomed with open arms while you constantly have your knife out, stabbing wildly like you do. McCain is NOT president yet, so he really doesn't have to suffer your odious presence if he doesn't want to.
Let's face it, Dowd is not a journalist. She is an opinion editorialist. She does not report, she opines. She simply cannot be expected to present unbiased news. McCain knows that he cannot even breathe without Dowd calling it a crime against humanity so that makes her a perfectly legitimate target for dismissal. There is just no expectation of fairness with a Maureen Dowd. Everyone knows it.
If more campaigns did this to media types that merely express opinions as opposed to reporting what is going on with the campaign one might expect that we'd get more serious news as opposed to constant personal opinion.
And, lastly, Dowd is wildly overstating her predicament. She is in no way whatever having her First Amendment rights curtailed. No one said she isn't allowed to write and publish whatever she feels. But there is no "right," Constitutional or otherwise, to be on a candidate's press plane.
So, good on ya, John McCain. But, as a writer myself, let me say one thing. This sort of action by the McCain camp is justified in this case, but such actions really must be used sparingly lest a real dampening of the First Amendment occur. Limits are good and right when they are justified. Abuse is not.
(Photo credit: www.observer.com)