Throughout the day on Monday, on-air personalities on Fox News pointed out that the media did not always have the admiration for Arizona Senator and 2008 Republican Presidential candidate John McCain that they have demonstrated over the past 48 hours in the wake of his passing.
On Outnumbered, Larry Elder described The Washington Post and the media in general as a “parade of hypocrites,” adding “the praise that’s coming for John McCain, of course, is well-deserved but where were these people praising his bipartisanship when he needed it in 2008 when he was running for President?” Elder mentioned that The Washington Post admitted “that they had more stories of Obama on the front page, more flattering stories of Obama, more photographs of Obama, more flattering photographs of Obama than McCain.”
Elder then brought up how The New York Times wrote a laudatory editorial about McCain before reminding the audience that just ten years earlier, a Times editorial endorsing Barack Obama for President alleged that McCain ran his campaign based on “class warfare, partisan divide, and even hints of racism.” Elder pondered, “Where were they then? This was just outrageous, the way they treated him in 2008. Now all of a sudden, he’s this saint.” Before his appearance on Outnumbered Monday, Elder tweeted out two contrasting quotes from the two New York Times editorials with the hashtag #hypocrisy.
On Tucker Carlson Tonight, the eponymous host may have put his finger on why the media has all of a sudden chosen to treat McCain as a “saint” when he noted that “McCain despised Trump.” Carlson chastised the media, who have spent the last 48 hours showering the late Senator John McCain with praise, as “the same people of course who called John McCain a racist for daring to run against the anointed one,” referring to Barack Obama. Carlson also contrasted Congressman John Lewis’s recent praise of McCain with his comparison of the 2008 Republican candidate to George Wallace. Carlson concluded that “for the left, everything is about political expedience, even obituaries.”
In other words, McCain’s criticism of President Trump more than makes up for his “biggest political mistake” of choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008 as well as the “debased level” of his presidential campaign overall. The media could best be described as fair-weather fans of the late Arizona Senator, always embracing him when he sided with the liberal positions favored by the Democratic Party while shunning him when he ended up criticizing liberals in his capacity as a Republican Presidential candidate or as a United States Senator.
At the time of his death, McCain found himself on the media’s “good side,” specifically because he had compared President Trump to an authoritarian due to his criticism of the media and served as the essential vote in preventing a repeal bill of Obamacare from passing the Senate; as President Trump likes to remind people at his rallies. As Carlson pointed out in his brief monologue addressing the media coverage of McCain’s death, cable news hosts on both CNN and MSNBC referred to McCain as a “hero,” with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin calling the President’s refusal to address McCain during an event with the President of Kenya as “despicable” and MSNBC’s Katy Tur described Trump as “a President who repeatedly refused to say anything about a war hero despite being asked today, again and again and again.”
A transcript of the relevant portion of Outnumbered is below. Click “expand” to read more.
MOLLY LINE: Growing questions about what’s next in Washington after the loss of Senator John McCain who was a towering presence on Capitol Hill. Former Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte recalling how McCain was able to work across party lines. Watch.
KELLY AYOTTE: He just had the courage of his convictions and he really was a true bipartisan champion, someone who is focused on getting things done for the American people. And he had that political courage.
LINE: Meantime, The Washington Post reporting that McCain’s passing marks a new era for Congressional checks on President Trump. The Post noting that McCain was a frequent critic of the President while heading the Senate Armed Services Committee which will now be chaired by Senator James Inhofe, a Trump supporter and Senator James Risch will take the Republican leadership post in the new Senate Foreign Relations Committee when frequent Trump critic Senator Bob Corker steps down at the end of the year. The Post writes that this all makes for “a sweeping change in how Congress may use its oversight authority to check the President’s international agenda, according to current and former lawmakers, lobbyists, and policy watchers—a changing of the guard with potentially enormous consequences for holding the President to account during crises.” Larry, I want to start with you, of course, because you’re here in the middle and you’re in the hot seat. Does The Washington Post have a point here when they raise that what’s happening there in Congress, some of the leadership may be a bit more friendly to the President now going forward?
LARRY ELDER: You know, Molly, what I’m seeing here is a parade of hypocrites. The praise that’s coming out for John McCain, of course, is well-deserved but where were these people praising his bipartisanship when he needed it in 2008 when he was running for President? The Washington Post admitted that they had more stories of Obama on the front page, more flattering stories of Obama, more photographs of Obama, more flattering photographs of Obama than McCain. The New York Times wrote a flattering editorial just the other day about John McCain, saying we could use more men like him. Well, in 2008, The New York Times and Obama for President had an editorial and it said that John McCain’s campaign is run based on “class warfare, partisan divide and even hints of racism.” Where were they then? This was just outrageous, the way they treated him in 2008. Now all of a sudden, he’s this saint.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Tucker Carlson Tonight is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Tucker Carlson Tonight
TUCKER CARLSON: Senator John McCain, who passed away this weekend at the age of 81, was a man of florid passions. He loved what he loved and he hated what he hated. High atop his dislike list was Donald Trump. McCain despised Trump. Trump, for his part, despised McCain right back and to their credit, neither man ever pretended otherwise. McCain attacked Trump almost until his final day. After McCain died, Trump at first could barely bring himself to mourn. He sent a brief tweet and then raised the White House flags too soon for many critics. Now, the root of this dispute between Senator McCain and the President is murky. Each side has a different story. What’s clear, though, is where the press stands in this.
BROOKE BALDWIN: To watch the President, with President Kenyatta of Kenya twice, you know, not saying anything about this hero, this lion of a man. It’s despicable. It’s despicable.
KATY TUR: A President who repeatedly refused to say anything about a war hero despite being asked today, again and again and again.
CARLSON: How dare he! Well, there’s been a lot of this today; almost exclusively from the left. On one level it’s amusing because these are the very same people of course who called John McCain a racist ten years ago for daring to run against the anointed one. A month before that election in 2008, Congressman John Lewis of Georgia compared John McCain to George Wallace and then tried to connect him to the 1963 Birmingham church bombings if you can imagine. Fast forward to this weekend. Lewis described McCain, probably the most hawkish Senator in American history, as “a warrior for peace.” He will be deeply missed by people all around the world. In other words, never mind the racist stuff, it was never personal. For the left, everything is about political expedience, even obituaries. More troubling though, more interesting too, is the claim you just heard that it’s “despicable” not to mourn Senator McCain in a certain way. Not just impolite but immoral and forbidden. When people in authority, people with TV shows for example, decide that they can dictate what emotions you are allowed to feel, you should worry. McCain knew that well. He spent five and a half years as a captive in a society just like that and he spent the rest of his life fighting against it. He hated authoritarians above all. John McCain was a complicated person but a great man. If you really want to honor his memory, you ought to let people make up their own minds about what they think.