July 18, 2008

McCain's Adultery: Where is the Media?

It has been widely reported around the blogosphere and other independent media outlets that America's mainstream media has been giving Sen. John McCain a free pass for some time. There are all sorts of theories about why this is the case, some more sinister than others, but there is widespread agreement that the trend continues today. I mentioned one example here already concerning blatantly racist statements McCain made in 2000. Now the Los Angeles Times has provided another, and this time it is one that may actually be upsetting to McCain's evangelical supporters. It involves adultery but gets even worse.

Here is how the story was summarized by The Carpetbagger Report:
We learned that McCain turned his back on his wife after she was seriously injured in a car accident, committed adultery, and left the mother of his children when he found a younger, wealthier woman.

Worse, we also learned that McCain didn’t tell the truth about this in his own memoir. McCain insisted that he was separated from his first wife before he began dating his second wife. That’s not true. McCain also insisted he’d been divorced for months before remarrying. That wasn’t true, either. (In fact, the LAT reported, “McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.”)
As The Carpetbagger Report correctly points out, this is usually the sort of story the mainstream media loves. Anybody remember Bill Clinton? So why has there been virtual media silence on it? Probably for the same reason McCain's racist comments in the 2000 GOP primary are not getting any attention even in an election year where the media seems determined to make race a central issue. McCain has been given a free pass from the mainstream media.

At the risk of sounding overly conspiratorial, I wonder if we are simply seeing the consequence of corporate ownership of the mainstream media. I'm not suggesting that is the only - or even the main - reason for the bubble around McCain, but I think it could be one factor.

I join The Carpetbagger Report in asking the media decision-makers to consider the following:
If investigative reporters at the LA Times had discovered that Barack Obama had been divorced, cheated on his first wife, left her after she was injured in a car accident, pursued a younger woman while still married, and then lied about the circumstances of his marriages in his memoir, does anyone seriously believe that news outlets would blow off the story completely?

Or is it more likely we would never hear the end of this?
This is a question we should continue to ask, and this is yet another issue about which the American people should be informed. Don't we deserve to have all the facts?

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