McCain has received more favorable press than other politicians and has been portrayed as a moderate, a maverick, and a reformer. Brock and coauthor Waldman assert that that image is mythical, maintained by an elite national press that is carefully courted by McCain. In fact, McCain is quite politically conservative and has often said so. Moreover, the authors claim that after 25 years in politics, McCain is no maverick either. Even on the campaign reform act that partly bears his name, McCain’s position is less substantively meaningful and less risky than has been portrayed. The authors examine national press coverage versus the coverage of local media in Arizona, where he is better known. They also detail how McCain’s courting of the media has resulted in a bias in his favor. The national press has overlooked McCain’s record as well as his character flaws and shortcomings. The media has found virtue even in his poor performance in the 2000 presidential election, attributing it to the fact that he is not like other politicians. Failure to scrutinize McCain more closely, the authors conclude, is an object lesson in the media’s skewed political coverage. --Vanessa Bush
“The press loves McCain. We're his base.”
—Chris Matthews, MSNBC
“John McCain is clearly the Washington media's favorite Republican.” —Brit Hume, Fox News
“The media, of course, loves John McCain because it seems like he's back to the old John McCain.” —David Shuster, MSNBC
“I think every last one of them [reporters] would move to Massachusetts and marry John McCain if they could.”
—Joe Scarborough, MSNBCFrom the Trade Paperback edition.