“Cone of silence,” my foot!


I gave John McCain CREDIT yesterday for having been smoother than Barack Obama at the forum Saturday night at Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback megachurch in California.

Perhaps I was a bit hasty.

It turns out that McCain was not in the vaunted “cone of silence” during all of Warren’s interview with Obama and thus might have had the opportunity to be apprised of Warren’s questions and Obama’s answers, which would have afforded him great advantage.

There’s more on this matter HERE and HERE and HERE.

POSTSCRIPT: To me, the weirdest part of this controversy is this statement from McCain spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace: “The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous.”

What does the fact that McCain was a prisoner of war have to do with this matter? Does it make the senator’s integrity unassailable in all cases? Would McCain’s first wife agree with that?

POSTSCRIPT II (COMPLETLY OFF-SUBJECT): I expect that we’ll soon see McCain ads deriding Michael Phelps for being such a big celebrity.  Celebrities are to be scorned, you know.



  1. Bukowski

    I am still dumbfounded by the fact that this forum is given any credence at all. One religious icon, who leads a relatively small religious group in an extreme conservative part of the country (Orange County) asking loaded questions of potential heads of state. If this forum had been conducted with a rabbi, a priest, a liberal Christian leader, a mullah, and Rick Warren asking the quesions, it might have made some sense. At least it would have been more representative. But why are we subjected political candidates to any religious scrutiny? BTW Pat, I am sure you will see the phrase “John McCain, a former prisoner of war” a lot more in this campaign. It is an effective associative propaganda technique.

  2. Yeah, there’s nothing I hate more than effective associative propaganda.

  3. George Mitchell

    Well I see that after having left Rockford 20 years ago, some things never change. That being Pat’s ignorance and stupidity.

  4. George Mitchell

    I beg to differ with bowl boy or whatever your name is, Orange County is far from extreme. I have been living here for 16 years and it is anything but extreme.

    Then again, from a Pat lover such as yourself, I would expect such a moronic comment.

  5. George: Your rejoinders are so thoughtful and your arguments so thorough and air-tight. I love the way you systematically refuted my slam against McCain. You sure put me in my place. Wow! You should get a blog of your own on which you could share more of your brilliant insights with others.

  6. Pat says ‘associative propaganda’….dare he also mention that Obama says he is a Christian? What is the problem with going to a Christian Church for a little question and answer session? The questions were hardly centric on Christianity.

    Face it….Obama bungled his comments on abortion and stumbled his way through the entire interview.

    Cone of Silence? What a joke. The questions were given to each candidate in advance! It makes no difference if Mccain went first or last.

  7. Jason C

    To me, the weirdest part of this controversy is that it’s a controversy. There’s little substance to the issue. It strikes me as a bit of sour-grapes. I believe the Warren camp that it was a miscommunication that McCain wasn’t there. And even if he did listen in and thereby “cheat”, who cares? the questions were personal and it’s not likely that McCain made up answers in response to Obama’s answers. I’m sure that McCain had is pandering well rehearsed and ready to go days before.

    I think this is one of those cases where you pick your battles and ignore it. Too much of this inconsequential defensiveness and people will start thinking that Obama is too sensitive or is crying wolf again if there is a real and substantive issue like this in the future.

  8. Leatherneck

    During the “cone of silence” McCain went out to an SUV and sat. Who knows what he did, but there’s no proof that he was listening to Obama on the radio. That’s just crap.
    There is no proof that the forum was being broadcast, and even if it was, we all know that you can’t get a clear radio signal from these independent church stations, even when you’re sitting right outside the building. You were in radio, Pat, you know how that goes. The Kilowatz and Megahertz thing. Hell, I sit down the street from WLUV and 3rd Presb. and I cannot pick up either one on my radio. So there’s no way McCain could have pulled it off. The Obamatrons are just jealous because McCain did a better job answering questions, so they accuse him of cheaing.

  9. I can’t help but wonder what the reaction would have been if the forum had been held at some Unitarian Church and it was Obama who had been missing from the cone of silence. We’d have heard about it for weeks on Fox News, and Limbaugh’s dittoheads would have had apoplexy.

  10. wroberts

    It is so easy to make statements with no proof today. There are too many people willing to make judgements with no proof…someone makes a suggestive statement and others jump on the bandwagon and a suggestion becomes the “truth” according to ????

  11. Bukowski

    The name is Bukowski, Mitchell, and if you don’t understand that Orange County conservatism is extreme then you better travel around the country and the world a bit. The world is about 3 decades ahead of you. Even Warren admits the audience was conservative for this country. Kaus, there is no problem with going to a Christian church for questioning and both candidates have already addressed religious groups dozens of times. My beef is that this one forum, run by a single paster from a single church which is not at all representative of religion in the USA is given prime time network status and covered as THE religious forum of the campaign. It’s the media’s fault as much as Warren’s for falling for his publicity ploy.

  12. Bukowski

    Kaus – The McCain campaign\’s associative propaganda technique involves using the phrase \"John McCain, former prisoner of war\" in a context when it has no bearing to the subject at hand, as Pat pointed out. Yes, Obama is a Christian but you do not see or hear his campaign referring to him as \"Barack Obama, Christian\" everytime they have the opportunity. Do not discount the effectiveness of this method – the power of suggestion and the emotions evoked re: Vietnam and the POW/MIA issue is very profound. Look for the visual equivalent of this big time during the Repub convention.

  13. equalityrkfd=

    The phrase they should use is “John McCain-PTSD”!

  14. Fred Flintstone

    Quote: Pat Cunningham to George Mitchell
    “Wow! You should get a blog of your own on which you could share more of your brilliant insights with others.”

    Ahh, Pat, Mr. Mitchell and his Co-Conspirators DO HAVE A BLOG.

    It’s called the Rrstar Community Forums, Specifically, The National Elections and Politics
    Category where seldom is heard a discouraging word. No Dem’s Allowed.

    All Right Wing, All the Time


  15. Thanks, Fred. I’ll have to visit there every once in a while to see how the non compos menti are doing.

  16. Fred Flintstone

    Oh Boy !!!
    Now their gonna slam ya for talking French.

    They don’t ‘preciate none ‘O dat fancy Posse Comitatus Talk round these here parts…………….. Son !

  17. Actually, Fred, it’s a Latin term for people who are mentally unfit.

  18. Fred Flintstone

    Yea, I know, I just thought I’d throw some raw meat out to the knuckle draggers.

    Nothing seems to get their dandruff up better than a good French reference.

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