Drudge today links to yet another clueless attempt to explain "The media’s love affair with McCain." An excerpt:
One of the curiosities of American politics is the media’s ongoing infatuation with John McCain. A bit of this is based on things such as McCain’s opposition to torture (unfortunately, we can no longer treat opposing torture like opposing child molestation, i.e., something one assumes is standard equipment in a presidential candidate rather than a luxury upgrade). Yet most of the journalistic love affair with the Republican senator from Arizona is based on other factors.
Consider this typical endorsement from the Orlando Sentinel: While McCain "has stuck to his principles at the risk of sinking his campaign," Mitt Romney "has abandoned positions that would have alienated his party’s conservative base." (Indeed, I checked a computer database and discovered that, in the national media, Romney is at least six times more likely to be described as a flip-flopper than McCain.)…
The author, who is a law professor (thin credentials for expressing the motives of the press), goes on to maintain that nothing could be further from the truth, that McCain’s a big flip-flopper from way back, including such arguments as saying that "McCain has done a 180-degree turn" on abortion, then going on to describe a turn that, even if you accept the characterization provided, certainly doesn’t add up to 180 degrees. (Apparently, law professors are expert in the deepest motivations of journalists, but not too swift on mathematical analogy.)
Anyway, I’ll tell you why news types tend to like McCain (which is not exactly the same as why editorial types like him, but most of us were once news types, too): Access. Ever since 1968, the press has grown used to political campaigns following the Nixon model of limiting access to the candidate, and carefully managing what he says, or at least what the press hears him say.
McCain throws that approach into the rubbish bin where it belongs. He will go to the back of the bus and make himself totally available to the ink-stained wretches who loiter there. And he’ll address anything you want him to, answering questions even to the extent of being available more than we need him to be.
News types love that. And editorial types, most of whom started out as news types, retain a soft spot for that kind of openness. It’s an element in why we like McCain, just as transparency is a factor in why we like Obama. There are other reasons, and we express them. But that straightforward approach is a factor.