(Cross posted at Daily Kos)
Yesterday's Jewish Vote Seminar sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) was a wide-ranging discussion whose implications for the 2008 election went far beyond the concerns of the Jewish community.
We found out from panelist, Stuart Rothenberg, that we're on our own when it comes to reporting the real McCain and getting the word out to the electorate.
At the end of the panelist presentations about the Jewish vote and Jewish voter attitudes, the audience was invited to question the panel.
That's where it got really interesting.
One questioner asked why mainstream media coverage lately has been so soft on McCain and why they've reported virtually nothing about McCain flipflopping on social issues and spending quality time with far right leaders like John Hagee.
Stuart Rothenberg managed to lower my opinion of mainstream journalists even more than I thought possible.
His response went like this:
"Most journalists know McCain personally and know he doesn't care about social issues. We know he cares about national security and foreign policy - and isn't interested in social issues or even the economy for that matter - so we give him a free pass."
A major party presidential candidate and the COM doesn't think it's newsworthy that the guy "isn't interested in the economy?" What do they teach in journalism school anyway?
And hey, I guess I missed where they were willing to give Al Gore or John Kerry any type of free pass. Damn. They couldn't even be bothered to report the truth about Gore! No, he never said he invented the Internet and he never said that he "discovered" Love Canal (There's an audio tape of that speech and it's clear that he did not say that. However, Maureen Dowd preferred the lie to the truth.), but they didn't bother to expose the lies being spread.
So, Mr. Rothenberg, was it just easier for y'all in 2000 to ignore the facts? Just like it's "easier" now to give your good buddy McCain a free pass?
Apparently so, because he also said:
"It's up to Democrats to bring up all the stuff about his record. Journalists just aren't inclined to pursue the story."
"We don't believe what he's saying anyway so we don't take it seriously."
Holy cow. Guess that's a big fat reminder of our importance during the 2008 election, huh? I'm in no way a professional journalist, and yesterday's session made me proud of that fact. I'm not willing to give a free pass to a presidential candidate who doesn't care about the economy and who changes his supposedly bedrock principle for the sake of political expediency.
That doesn't make you a maverick. It makes you a hypocrite.
Sure, people should be willing to change their minds when circumstances change, but McCain changes his based on whose votes he's soliciting.
Let's get busy guys. We have to do the work the "mainstream professional journalists" get paid to do but don't bother.