Campaign Media’s Suspended Disbelief

L.A. Times media reporter Matt Welch (9/26/08) says it’s “no wonder John McCain ‘suspended’ his presidential campaign Wednesday to focus in a bipartisan manner on a grave national crisis,” considering how the same move during NATO’s 1999 bombing of Kosovo has been called “a masterful political stroke”:

Overnight, McCain became the go-to guest on cable news shows, rallying the bipartisan cause for military intervention… saying he’d rather lose an election than lose a war…. The Washington Post‘s Mary McGrory wrote at the time… “[McCain] is getting yards of publicity for a non-event.” With all that free mediaâ┚¬”including separate appearances in a single day on Fox News, CNN, PBS, CNBC and MSNBCâ┚¬”the Arizona senator’s poll numbers shot up from the statistically insignificant to the respectable double digits. McCain enthusiast David Brooks, writing in these pages in February 2000, identified Kosovo as the metaphorical jumper cables on the Straight Talk Express.