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Monday, August 18, 2008

McCain protests NBC coverage

The Politico:

Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign manager Rick Davis asked Sunday for a meeting with Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, to protest what the campaign called signs that the network is "abandoning non-partisan coverage of the presidential race."

In this case, the campaign is objecting to a statement by NBC's Andrea Mitchell on "Meet the Press" questioning whether McCain might have gotten a heads-up on some of the questions that were asked of
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who was the first candidate to be interviewed Saturday night by Pastor Rick Warren at a presidential forum on faith.

And from NewsBusters:

Mitchell Also Circulated Obama's Conspiracy Theory Over Cancelled Troop Visit
Andrea Mitchell's floating of the Obama-camp accusation that John McCain cheated by overhearing Obama's responses at the Saddleback forum, as NewsBuster D.S. Hube reported, isn't the first time the NBC correspondent has made herself propagator-in-chief of Obama's conspiracy theories. As NewsBuster Noel Sheppard has noted, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis has now written NBC to protest Mitchell's behavior. Here's an excerpt from his letter to NBC News president Steve Capus [emphasis added]:

[I]nstead of taking a critical journalistic approach to this spin, Andrea Mitchell did what has become a pattern for her of simply repeating Obama campaign talking points.

In asserting a "pattern" of such behavior by Mitchell, what did Davis have in mind? Almost surely it included a very similar stunt that Mitchell pulled in connection with Obama's cancellation of his planned visit to injured troops while in Germany for his speech in Berlin. As I noted here at the time, Mitchell passed along the Obama camp's unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that McCain had pulled strings with Pentagon buddies to have them withdraw permission for the visit.

Said Mitchell on Morning Joe on July 25th:

Clearly, people in the campaign are really angry . . . So, you know, the anger here in the campaign is pretty intense at the Pentagon. They feel that the military are drawing some lines--they're not saying this publicly of course--but drawing lines that they might have drawn for other people . . . They thought that they were, you know, you know, no-win situation, that the Pentagon, perhaps the military with cooperation from some Republican operatives and, that's the sort of scuttlebutt, that there have been some foreign policy advisers of John McCain with connections in the Pentagon who had something to do with this. But that is, perhaps, just the normal political paranoia of the season.
In fact, the Pentagon had done no such thing. As the Obama camp itself subsequently acknowledged, the invitation to visit the troops had remained on the table. Obama decided not to go, according to Obama aide Robert Gibbs "out of respect for these servicemen and women" because "it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign.” Did Mitchell subsequently clarify the record, to let people know that the Obama camp's accusation was crackpot conspiracy theory if not an outright lie? Not that I'm aware of.

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