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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Schmidt’

Palin and McCain at the UN Redefining First Amendment Absolutism

23palinkissinger.jpgSo, Sarah Palin is at the UN today shoring up (or is it creating) her record of meeting with world leaders. Except no one was allowed to watch! TVNewser has been following the travails of the press corps that is attempting to follow the Alaskan governor: apparently when Steve Schmidt said yesterday that the McCain campaign were “First Amendment absolutists” he neglected to mention they had redefined the term! Per TVNewser:

All the networks were prepared to ban the use of pictures and video from Gov. Sarah Palin’s meetings at the UN today. The ban was in protest of the McCain campaign’s restriction on editorial presence.

We hear the networks had arranged for a pool camera to cover all the meetings, and at least three journalists were to be present as well (one print, one radio, one TV). Earlier today, the McCain campaign said it would allow just one editorial person inside. Later, the campaign limited it to a camera only.

Within the last few minutes, the campaign reversed course and will allow a CNN producer in to the meetings.

And by access what they actually mean is 29 seconds.

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McCain and the Press: Be Careful What You Wish For

mccain_press_blog_20080206045206.jpgIt’s no secret that John McCain has been demonizing the press of late: it’s an old trick that often works in the candidates advantage, however McCain, once the favorite son of the media may have taken it a step too far. Yesterday, during a conference call McCain campaign brain Steve Schmidt roundly criticized the NYT for being, among other things, a “pro-Obama advocacy organization,” also, Politico is “in the tank” for Obama. Of course, recent relations between the New York Times and McCain have been tenuous at best since the Times did their front page work-up about McCain, which included some sketchily sourced claims of extra-marital affairs. Still, Politico‘s Ben Smith reports that the conference call, ostensibly called because top campaign aids are tired of being labeled “liars,” was “so rife with simple, often inexplicable misstatements of fact, that it may have had the opposite effect: to deepen the perception, dangerous to McCain, that he and his aides have little regard for factual accuracy.”

Even better! What if the press begins to question why they are covering McCain at all! At least that’s what Jay Rosen seems to be suggesting in a blistering letter posted on Romenesko today.

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Steve Schmidt Rips The Grey Lady

Steve Schmidt, chief McCain strategist denounced the New York Times as a ‘pro-Obama advocacy organization’. Ever since the announcement of John McCain‘s VP, Sarah Palin, the strategy from the McCain camp has been simple: shoot the messenger.

E&P writes:

It all began with a New York Times article today — not on the front page — that tied Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager to receiving nearly $2 million in payments in the past five years to run a firm defending Fannie May and Freddie Mac and others. It sparked a remarkable conference call with reporters in which Steve Schmidt, chief McCain strategist, hit back at the Times, charging that it is no longer even a journalistic operation but a propaganda organ for Barack Obama.

Jay Rosen has a question in ‘Letters Sent to Romenesko‘:

Subject — attacks on the New York Times. I’m sure there’s a simple answer to this, and it’s just eluding me: If the McCain campaign says, on the record and before the national press, that the New York Times is not a legitimate news organization, or a journalistic enterprise at all, but a political action committee working for Obama (and that is what Steve Schmidt said to reporters; listen to it…) then why does the Times have to treat the McCain crew as a “normal” campaign organization, rather than a bunch of rogue operators willing to say absolutely anything to gain power and lie to the nation once in office? I mean, really. How far can you stretch, “they’re just blaming the messenger, a common tactic when frustrated…?” Does that kind of placid response cover all cases? At what point does an extreme attempt to de-legitimate the press actually de-legitimate the candidate as an extremist in the eyes of the press? Does anyone know? And if no one knows, how can the press even cover the McCain campaign? I know there’s a good, sound, at-the-ready answer to these questions; I just can’t think of what it is. So Romenesko readers, help me out! If the McCain campaign says the Times is not a legitimate news source why does the Times have to treat McCain as a legitimate candidate?

Well Jay, it’s kind of like calling a girl a slut in order to get her to sleep with you. If she does – you were right. If she doesn’t – you’re a douche.

We hope the NYT doesn’t. Then we all know what that makes Schmidt.

Journos Wonder If They’re Still McCain’s Base

p1_mccain_all.jpgJeff Bercovici over at Portfolio asks if Presidential Nominee John McCain still plans on have biweekly press conferences and use the ‘Kennedy model’ like he told a group of reporters American Magazine Conference in Fajardo, Puerto Rico in 2005:

“You’re going to answer the question sooner or later, so it might as well be sooner,” he [McCain] said, even if it meant enduring “some pretty good scrubbings from the media.”

Of course, all that was long before the Arizona senator chose to make media-bashing a primary plank in his 2008 platform. Just today, his top strategist, Steve Schmidt, went to town on The New York Times, harrumphing that the paper, which has been reporting on the campaign’s ties to mortgage-industry lobbyists, “is today not by any standard a journalistic organization” Schmidt’s outburst follows weeks of attacks on the press over its supposedly unfair treatment of Sarah Palin.

It’s hard to imagine the McCain who claims to see reporters as members of a vast left-wing conspiracy is still willing to submit himself to interrogation at the hands of those same reporters every fortnight. So I put the question, via email and phone messages, to three McCain spokesmen: Is the candidate willing to reiterate his pledge to hold biweekly press conferences as president?

I haven’t heard back from any of them. If any fellow journalists are reading this out on the campaign trail, maybe you could press for an answer?

GASP. “In a world torn by politics – bonds are severed, friends are ripped apart. Love forbidden. The love that once was – can never be again.” Sniffle. Pass the popcorn.

Worse ‘Feeding Frenzies’ Than Sarah Palin

As we mentioned yesterday, McCain Camp’s Steve Schmidt told the WaPo that the feeding frenzy on Veep Nominee Sarah Palin was the worst he’s ever seen. Not that we can blame someone for having the memory of a gold fish. It often helps the voices.

Anyway, we came up with a poll of other feeding frenzies. There were many: The OJ Trial, Monica Lewinsky, Jonbenet Ramsey, Lacy Peterson, Chandra Levy, Natalie Holloway, Martha Stewart going to jail and Elian Gonzalez.

Then some of our readers suggested more. Princess Diana’s Death and Anna Nicole Smith.

And then we thought of more: Terri Schiavo and Janet Jackson‘s nipple.

Did we miss one? Leave your answer in the comments…or tip box.

The Worst Feeding Frenzy Ever?

This was in today’s WaPo:

Steve Schmidt, a former spokesman for President Bush and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, talked openly about his frustrations in an interview with The Washington Post. He said the McCain camp is in the middle of the worst media “feeding frenzy” he has ever seen.

Really? Did Schmidt just get sight?

What was a worse ‘media feeding frenzy’ than Sarah Palin?
( polls)