How McCain Lost His Media 'Base'

Republican scaring away members of his own party turns press into hunters
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2008 3:10 PM CDT
With newspapers in hand, John McCain gets out of his SUV to board his campaign charter jet at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., Wednesday, June 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – John McCain used to call the press “my base,” but if that’s true, his base has turned against him. Most of his biggest admirers, won over by his 2000 campaign, have become brutal critics, John Heileman writes for New York. The Republicans of all stripes pouring off the bandwagon, especially over the past month, "gave the press a permission slip to question McCain’s authenticity and integrity," Heileman contends.

Mere months after McCain and Barack Obama were on essentially equal footing as media darlings, "the McCain campaign has been complicit in squandering one of the most precious assets its candidate brought to the race: a media dynamic that had previously worked overwhelmingly to his advantage," Heileman writes. “It made reporters wonder, ‘Have we been had?’” says one journalism professor.