We return to Grandpa Walnuts, once again. The media just won’t let the man remain dead, they expect him to roll the rock past the cave opening and return to giving sound bites.
Here’s the thing: Sen. John McCain might not have invented access journalism, but even in death, he is exhibit A for why access journalism is so pernicious to journalism.
In roughly alphabetical order here are some of the maudlin takes that our allegedly unbiased media are bleating and mewling:
I had the honor of covering Senator McCain in 2000 – & in his 2008 Presidential run and ever since on Capitol Hill. He was an American hero – a maverick – and someone who could move the ball on both sides of the aisle. There should be more John McCains -there aren’t yet. R.I.P.
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) August 26, 2018
Well, we would expect Fox News to lead the list, now, wouldn’t we? We move on to CNN
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) August 27, 2018
Just incredibly sad news. I feel so very lucky to have gotten the chance to cover Sen. McCain for many years
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) August 26, 2018
As always with CNN, it is hard to discern if the story is about McCain or the reporter. You read it and decide.
Amusingly, David Drucker gets right to the heart of access journalism:
.@SenJohnMcCain was a giant. Covering him, as a political journalist, was equivalent to covering the course of the country. That’s how it felt. Plus, he always took our questions.
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) August 26, 2018
MSNBC’s Kassie Hunt embarrasses herself and journalism.
“Sen. McCain, after a decade of trying to keep up with you in those marble hallways, I know the place that you so loved is going to be a lesser place without you. My hope for this Congress and this country is that remembering and honoring your life and legacy, sir, will inspire the best among us to serve as you did. Godspeed.”
And if that were not enough, Hunt later tweeted:
I miss him. We all miss him. https://t.co/UB19d807Mh
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) August 26, 2018
One wonders if Hunt will push Cindy McCain out of the way and fling herself on the casket as McCain is lowered into the Eternal Green Room. We move on.
Seung Min Kim reminds us that he was a crank. A crank who always took their questions.
God bless you @SenJohnMcCain — you are a big reason why it has been a joy to cover the United States Senate. I will never forget the twinkle in your eye as you crankily responded “What do you want?” to our questions — but always graciously answered them. RIP to an American hero.
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) August 26, 2018
NPR’s Tim Mak reminds us that Grandpa Walnuts was an asshole.
McCain once was in a terrible mood. Didn’t like one of my questions and got up in my face before walking away.
He later cooled down.
Came back an hour after votes, looking for me to personally apologize.
That was the kind of man he was.
— Tim Mak (@timkmak) August 26, 2018
Such fond memories, Mak?! Bet you told that one a lot. Maybe he was competing with NYTimes’ Glenn Thrush for the kindest of assholes beat:
Even when he doesn’t want to talk to reporters @SenJohnMcCain makes eye contact, acknowledges they are there, they exist…
When he does want to talk, he ushers u into the elevator, smiles all the way, and says something like ‘whattaya want, you little shit?’
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) August 24, 2018