Howard Kurtz looks at the media turnaround on McCain today.
Why are liberals suddenly more exercised about McCain? In 2000, he was a colorful underdog running against the party establishment's candidate. He was funny, told great stories, admitted mistakes and enjoyed dining with reporters. He was endlessly available for television interviews. He championed what seemed like a quixotic crusade for campaign finance reform. He was a certified war hero as a former prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton. He was unfairly slimed in the South Carolina primary. And, in the view of the press, he had little chance of winning.I think Kurtz is exactly right about why the media worm is turning on McCain. What they don't realize is that such attacks help McCain in his race for the Republican nomination because there is nothing Republican primary voters agree so much on as their dislike for the media. In fact, in addition to my differences with McCain on issues such as tax cuts and campaign finance reform, one of my main suspicions of McCain has been the sense that he would take positions solely to maintain his popularity with the press. So, McCain will benefit, at least in terms of the GOP nomination, by losing his "base," the press.
This time around, McCain is arguably the front-runner for the GOP nomination. If he runs, he could well win the White House, shutting out the Democrats for the third straight election. And that is rallying the pundits of the left.