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It’s Sunday morning, which means John McCain is on TV

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As I write these words shortly before 8:30 a.m., the voice I hear from the television across the room is that of Sen. John McCain.

Why am I not surprised?

Four weeks ago today, I wrote THIS:

One of the great unanswered questions of our time is why the major television networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox — so often feel the need to book Republican Sen. John McCain on their Sunday morning talk-fests.

McCain chairs no Senate committees and hasn’t authored any significant legislation since his campaign-finance bill, which was mostly shot down by the Supreme Court.

Still, more often than not, the Arizona septuagenarian and presidential-election loser is on the boob tube on Sunday mornings.

In today’s edition of The New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer SIMILARLY OBSERVES:

Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, is not his party’s most recent presidential nominee. He is no longer the highest-ranking Republican on any major Congressional committee. And as party spokesmen go, these days he is just as often speaking against Congressional Republicans as with them.

Yet on many given Sundays — over 60 of them since 2010 — Mr. McCain repairs to a television studio in Washington to hold forth. On “Face the Nation” alone, Mr. McCain has appeared more than any other politician in the program’s 60-year history.

His Sunday ubiquity has set off some grumbling in Washington that producers give him too much airtime. It also tends to solidify the impression in living rooms across America that he remains the spokesman for, and titular head of, his party.

(Snip)

Critics of the Sunday programs argue that the words spoken on them are at once too calculated and overly interpreted, simply by virtue of where they are delivered. “You can go on Charlie Rose midweek and have a long conversation that ends in a game of strip poker and no one will pay attention,” said Philippe Reines, a senior adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “You go on a Sunday show, and everyone is looking for the slightest change, a new syllable, some new nuance.”

The prominence of guests with strong points of view can give viewers a false sense of proportion to certain sides of policy debates. This is most clearly the case with Mr. McCain, whose advocacy for military intervention in Syria and criticism of the administration’s policies there might create a sense that there is a robust policy debate over the matter in Washington when there really is not…

Many guests believe that the talk shows also contribute to the partisan disharmony in Washington, though that may be like blaming a speck of pepper for the flavor of a 10-gallon pot of soup. Even the highest-rated programs attract fewer than 2.5 million viewers, a tiny audience by the standards of network television.

“There is a tendency on the Sunday shows to look more toward partisan polarization,” said David Gergen, a senior analyst for CNN who has advised four presidents. “They seek out people who are further out on the spectrum,” Mr. Gergen said, adding that “more than one senator” has told him the story of being bumped for a more partisan guest when they expressed moderate positions on issues in pre-interviews, something producers and hosts say is untrue…

Despite their low ratings, the Sunday talk shows make headlines, and they are closely watched by Washington power brokers. Even the programs’ critics concede that they are a rite of power passage for politicians making their way to the top.

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26 Comments

  1. Steverino

    The self appointed ambassador to Syria is just filler for the retired military geezers who still get up at reveille.

  2. Robert

    John McCain has to continually re-confirm to himself that he’s still relevant to the conversation. Even though his own party hierarchy threw him under the bus twice, once in 2000 in South Carolina and then again in 2008, when they saddled him with Sarah Palin. How she is still relevant to any conversation or ever was is beyond me.

  3. I’m actually happy now that McCain was not elected in 2008. At least with OWEbama, we have an enemy that we can see and recognize. Regrettably, most of America seems to be trembling in fear of the fight to save our country and Constitution, and also in being called a racist.

  4. Brian Opsahl

    Save your Country and Constitution…how …?

  5. Yeah, trembling all the way to the voting booth, Greg. Where, I might add, Obama roundly defeated the two unlikable cranks who were supposedly the best leaders the GOP has to offer.

    I think you are practicing transference, whereby you experience fears (of GOP shrinkage, and a President to whom you do not “relate”) and then attach them to your perceived antagonists.

    Want some truth? The majority of Americans support Obama, and are not trembling or fearful of those who do not. We are in fact oblivious to any so-called “fight to save our country”, whatever that means, and mostly cringe embarassingly at goofballs like you who seem to think our President is a treasonous “enemy”.

  6. Brian Opsahl

    Greg maybe you were happier with bush ….he only got 3000 Americans murdered….while he pretended to be a President…ask the supreams

  7. For starters, Brian, by continuing to read history, and not by accidentally finding myself on a Hopey Dopey OWEbamunist LibLoon blog. We learn from history, not only of our nation, but of the world. When we do that we recognize the often repeated pattern that your savior barack is imposing upon our citizenry right now.

    Do you REALLY think that allowing the gov’t to suppress the tax exempt status of certain politically opposed groups is a good thing, or is it OK because THIS TIME your side won?

    Are you OK with the DHS buying 1.6 BILLION rounds of ammo while the gov’t does everything they can to make the purchase of weapons and ammo as difficult as possible for the rest of us? BTW, the DHS is NOT the military.

    Do you accept that the checks and balances outlined in our Constitution just get in the way of an elected President? Barack has publicly said that is does, many times.

    So you believe that our gov’t has the right to monitor all of our emails and phone calls, and store them digitally? Yeah, I know, Barry and Eric said that isn’t really happening. With their track record, if you believe that you are completely obtuse, and unteachable.

    Oh yeah, that freedom of speech thing granted by the 1st amendment. Think that isn’t being challenged? Tell that to the media that has has been investigated by this Chicago thug and his gang.

    Protecting our borders? HAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHAHAHAAHHHHHAAAAAAAAAA, right! And the idiot that the GOP propped up in 2008 is walking in step with OWEbama, and blasting McCain was the original reason for my post.

    This is just a small sampling. There is one thing I know with absolute 100% clarity Brian. There are two types of people in this country. Those that recognized OWEbama prior to Nov., 2008 and CERTAINLY by Nov. of 2012, and the rest of you that will one day say “WTF happened,” but much too late.

  8. (why do I throw away my time in places like this)

    Luke.

    “…Soundly defeated….?” “….majority of Americans support…..” Really? Let’s put the slobbering sycophants in the national media 95% in the GOP camp (and I think I’ve made it clear I am not a GOP shill, nor did I support GW Bush), and use the IRS as an instument to stifle fund raising activity of the Demonrat Party. Think you’d still eke out a win in November? When was that 49 state electoral landslide again? Oh yeah, 1980 with Mr. Reagan. That, my blind friend, is what a “sound defeat” looks like.

  9. You guys want to be taken seriously outside of this forum? You really need to stop replying with nearly every criticism of OWEbama with the word “Bush.” Back when GW was President (and he was my LAST choice for the GOP nom, BTW), and you guys were calling him Satan, Hitler, Stalin, etc. etc., the media that I usually frequent did not always do a knee-jerk reply with “well Clinton…(fill in the blank)….”

    Oh, and one more thing. Criticism of this President is NOT racism, nor is the word “Chicago” or “IRS,” as one of your chief slobbering sycophants Chrissy TinglyLeg has spewed.

  10. Greg: By any reasonable measure, Obama’s two victories in the Electoral College were landslides. And more than a few conservative pundits would agree with me.

    For example, shortly before the election of last November, Larry Kudlow predicted “a 330-vote electoral landslide” for Mitt Romney. Obama got 332 electoral votes, two more than Kudlow’s definition of a landslide.

    George Will predicted “a 321-217 landslide” for Romney. Dick Morris predicted a “landslide” of 325 electoral votes for Romney. Glenn Beck said: “It’s going to be a landslide.”

    All of those right-wing predictions of a landslide for Romney foresaw an electoral margin that was smaller than the margin Obama achieved.

    Obama also is the first president since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s to win twice with more than 51 percent of the popular vote both times. The other two-term winners since then (Nixon, Reagan and the younger Bush) didn’t achieve that.

  11. Well Pat, working for the Rockford Register Star, perhaps you don’t recognize that many of us outside of the People’s Republic of Illisnoisistan do not look for the media for reasonable measures of what is called a landslide and what is not. Frankly, I don’t give a damn what you, Kudlow, Will, TinglyLeg, or Luke consider to be the majority of Americans.

    Additionally, the difference between now and 1980 is that even back in the 70’s most major cities had 2 primary newspapers. One was generally conservative, and the other liberal. There was more of a balanced perspective from which people could glean information in order to make a decision with regard to elections. Anyone that suggests that national news media today is generally balanced must be looking at this from within a prism. They certainly do not have a clear perspective.

    No, Sir, I do not accept your barometer for considering what is a “landslide” or even a majority. Liberals still bleating about the results of the FL election in 2000, are not considered as having a rational perspective, in my opinion. In that election, your fellows in broadcast media reported that FL’s electoral votes had already gone to Gore, and this before the generally conservative western counties in the central time zone’s polls had closed. Do you think more than a handful stayed home after that? It’s certainly more reasonable than to presume that “pimply faced chad” indicated a ballot for Gore.

    When a significant amount of the electorate knows who won the last 3 seasons of ‘The Amazing Race to Survive a Dance with the Real Cougars of New Jersey,” but cannot state the names of their 2 Senators, I suspect that broadcast media has much more of a significant role in determining electoral “opinion.” Furthermore, the effect of the IRS’ stifling of opposition fund-raising while TinglyLeg and his kind broadcast nightly about Mitt Romney killing a dog, or his wife Ann’s dressage horse, or how Bain Capital’s activity ended up in the death of a woman dying of cancer, does not lead me to accept that this is a balanced playing field. In addition, we know already of many people in bellweather states that voted, and were even shown how to vote multiple times. Illegal immigrants were certainly granted valid ballot status thousands, if not tens of thousands of times. The strongest protest to reasonable voter positive ID comes from the left, not from the right. In balance, consider the actions of Atty. General Holder in response to the clear voter intimidation in Philadelphia by members of the New Black Panther organization. Do you honestly think that if supporters of the GOP did something similar at election time that it would not be top priority news for months? If you do, you are within that prism I spoke of.

    Mr. Cunningham, the rules have changed. There are not any rules, by the standards of a single generation past. Our electoral process is no longer sacred or respected. It is in reality, closer to the process by which Hugo Chavez or the Castro brothers have retained their power. It is certainly not the process than what I grew up with in this country.

  12. Greg: You wingnuts just can’t accept the fact that the Muslim interloper from Kenya won two presidential elections, can you?

    You moan and groan that this isn’t the country in which you grew up. Well, I’m probably older than you, and I find that it’s a much better country in many ways than it was when I was a kid.

    Oh, and by the way, I don’t work for the Register Star. I’m a free-lance blogger, and I write what I want to write, without any direction from the bosses at the paper (other than, of course, a ban on bad language or anything libelous).

  13. Incidentally, RRStar.com also offers a conservative blog written by Ted Biondo. Check it out.

  14. Jamie Allman

    As a conservative I agree with Pat that John McCain is tiresome and a symbol of staleness of thought. As a conservative I also agree with Greg that Pat is tiresome and a symbol of staleness of thought. I do think McCain’s liver will hold out longer than Cunningham’s. Two things for sure about Sunday morning: McCain’s on TV and Cunningham is hungover. Neither of them is worth much on Sunday morning.

  15. Jamie: How could I be “hungover” on Sunday morning when I don’t even drink?

  16. As expected, Pat, you and your ilk always make presumptions about why we dislike Obama. You will see no mention in my previous posts inferring that OWEbama is from Kenya, or that he is a Muslim. That is akin to the same tired presumption about my not accepting a black President. You really need a new page in your playbook. That one is terribly worn out.

    Also as expected, you addressed none of the points that I brought up here, but simply stated “…you can’t accept…” Perhaps you and PeeWee Herman can have a public debate. “I know you are, but what am ?”

  17. Poor Greg is so humorless that he doesn’t recognize sarcasm when he sees it.

    But then, most wingnuts are humorless, which is why you don’t see many right-wing comedians.

    Dennis Miller? Puh-leeze! He’s about as funny as cancer.

  18. How awesome is it that Greg conflates Pat’s rhetoric with PeeWee Herman, in THE SAME THREAD where he posted these gems of intellectual profundity:

    “…OWEbama”
    “…Hopey Dopey OWEbamunist LibLoon”
    “…your savior barack”
    “…this Chicago thug and his gang”
    “…Demonrat Party”
    “…Chrissy TinglyLeg” (not sure who this refers to)
    “…the People’s Republic of Illisnoisistan”

    Methinks it is more of your transference problem, Greg. But no problem. Keep telling us our “playbook” is “terribly worn out” while you invent more banal euphemisms. They totally convince readers you are a serious thinker.

    Just for kicks, though, give me a little substance to back up some of these probing, Gregian insights:

    > America seems to be trembling in fear of the fight to save our country and Constitution.
    > …the often repeated pattern that your savior barack is imposing upon our citizenry right now.
    > …allowing the gov’t to suppress the tax exempt status of certain politically opposed groups (hint, none of the groups were tax exempt until their application was reviewed and approved by the IRS, as required by law).
    > …the DHS buying 1.6 BILLION rounds of ammo while the gov’t does everything they can to make the purchase of weapons and ammo as difficult as possible.
    > …our gov’t monitoring all of our emails and phone calls, and storing them digitally.
    > …slobbering sycophants in the media being 95% in the Democratic camp.
    > …you guys calling GWBush Satan, Hitler, Stalin, etc. etc.
    > …the IRS’ stifling of opposition fund-raising.
    > …Illegal immigrants were certainly granted valid ballot status thousands, if not tens of thousands of times.
    > … clear voter intimidation in Philadelphia by members of the New Black Panther organization.

    Thanks in advance!

  19. Luke: Congrats! You’ve done it again!

    You’re sometimes better at this stuff than I am. Pretty soon, our conspiratorialist friends are going to suggest that you’re a plant recruited by me to do some of my dirty work.

    But, of course, I don’t know you from Adam. I don’t know where you live or work or anything else about you. All I know is that you’re pretty good at smacking down the wingnuts.

    Keep up the good work.

  20. Brian Opsahl

    Is Greg refering to the one Black Panther that fox lying news showed over and over standing outside a polling place…?

    while completely ignoring what Bush pulled with John McCain and all those Carolina phone calls made about a black child in McCains family, or the thugs in Florida that got out of motor homes to scare the black folks down there.

  21. Thanks Pat!

    I’m no plant, honest. Just another mindless mouthpiece, beholden to my handlers and their compulsory talking points.

    Note to freaks: “wink” is your clue that my preceding statement is sarcastic. So, um, y’all can keep up…

  22. Wink!

  23. Brian Opsahl

    Everytime I see a picture of McCain i think of an old fart that used to yell at us as kids in his pajamas to get off his dam YARD…!!

  24. expdoc

    Brian,

    You should rather think of a national hero who has provided incredible service to his country.

  25. Brian Opsahl

    Oh I used to feel that way about him…(the Maverick) I have always honored his service to his country, but latley he is becoming a nightime joke punch line “his doing not mine” Doc.

  26. expdoc says:
    June 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm
    Brian,

    You should rather think of a national hero who has provided incredible service to his country.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Yeah, sometimes John does make me remember his father. The contrast in character between the two is illuminating.

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