Friday, September 5, 2008

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Republican media strategery:
A senior McCain campaign official advises that, despite the gaggle of requests and pressure from the media, Gov. Sarah Palin won't submit to a formal interview anytime soon. She may take some questions from local news entities in Alaska, but until she's ready -- and until she's comfortable -- which might not be for a long while -- the media will have to wait.
Grrrrr. If she can't handle a press conference, how can you argue she's ready to be vice president?

This fear-based, defensive, curl-up-inside-your-shell posture toward the press is killing the GOP. It's insane: Treat the press like the enemy and then complain about media bias. Oh, I wish Tony Snow were still alive to explain to these "senior campaign officials" why this approach doesn't work.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

UPDATE: David Frum calls attention to this MSNBC clip where McCain campaign communications senior adviser Nicole Wallace ridicules the idea that Sarah Palin should speak to reporters:

Politicians cannot treat reporters like this. This has nothing to do with whether you like or dislike Jay Carney. I've seen what happens to Republicans (and Democrats) who cultivate an adversarial relationship with the press. As soon as a scandal or a gaffe or some other bad news hits, and you want to get your side of the story out there, guess what? Nobody's listening. And why should they? You never did them any favors, you treated them like scum, and now when you need a little help . . . hey, good luck with that, pal.

Ed Morrissey scoffs:
It’s not as if she’ll be able to avoid reporters while campaigning, especially in this day and age . . .
Oh, yeah? Go out on the road to cover the McCain campaign and see how much access to the candidate you get, Ed. I show up in Pennsylvania and tell 'em I'm from the American Spectator and it's like, "American What?" I show up and say I'm with Pajamas Media, and they're like, "Pajamas Who?"

Frankly, the Hillary campaign treated me a lot better, despite the fact that they understood I was essentially hostile (except in an "Operation Chaos" sort of friendly way). Two of the three times I covered Hillary on the trail, she gave press conferences, even though most of the questions were along the lines of, "Why don't you quit now, you stupid loser woman?" (That's almost a verbatim of the CBS News guy's question May 7.)

Hillary suffered badly in the later stage of the campaign because of her staff's earlier high-handed treatment of the press. It always -- always -- bodes ill for politicians when they treat reporters this way.


  1. Maybe not so wrong.
    The announcement-to-speech pause afforded the fringe elements the opportunity to engage in a bit of seppuku.
    Palin is no doubt getting a crash course in national campaign survival, as well as foreign policy issues of which she's unaware.
    The fact that no one on the Left knows about the Spratley Archipelago macht nichts if they can get a good moose-in-the-headlights picture of Palin on the topic.
    If you send her out too early, and she blows a gasket, you reinforce the misogynistic argument that she should be home mindin' the bairns.
    Trust the magnificent bastard Rove; she'll deploy when equipped.

  2. It may take the weekend for her to memorize all the Premiers and Dictators and Presidinks of every single country on the face of the Earth.

    And an additional 4 hours to memorize the entire Fed budget, all pending legislation in Congress, and the names of every county in the USA.

    Plus a couple hours to shoot and field-dress a moose or two before winter sets in up there.

    So, figure Wednesday or so.

    But yes, the Stupid Party has earned its monicker--see, e.g., Karl Rove make a fool of himself, courtesy John Stewart...

  3. Maybe McCain is a little....uppity.
    Palin too is somewhat.....uppity....towards the media.
    McCain/Rove are taking many risks right now.
    But they are safe bets. Ahhh, leave it to good ol' American ignorance....

  4. Having read a bit of this blog, I would say the McCain campaign would be wise to do the opposite of whatever its author advises. Award winning? What's the story behind that one? I bet Levi Johnston would be more incisive.

  5. Its another ploy. She has been on notice since the campaign sent people to see her in May. You think she hasnt already brushed up on the national issues? She will be all over the place soon, and the media will look like fools again. Just like they did the first few days. The left is going to attack some more, and when she does come out and start answering questions she is going to be on top of it. McCain made this choice because she is the real deal, knows her stuff, and has integrity. I certainly "HOPE" the media and Obama/Biden campaign keep underestimating her.

  6. To be fair, Stacy, didn't everyone pretty much say "Pajamas who?"

  7. She will be all over the place soon, and the media will look like fools again.

    Totally agree. What's that bit about the OODA loop again? They'll wait just long enough for the whole press to complain and then she'll be everywhere.

    It's ridiculous for them to complain thus far anyway, because it's only been a week! Most of which was covered up in a Hurricane and a Convention, with generous helpings of media folks trashing her 17 year old daughter. She may have need a day or two to calm herself down, come to think of it. If it'd been me and I'd been in the media right away I might have had some choice comments to some of those f&**ers.