Republican Pals and Their ‘National Security’ Passion

mccain-grahamTime magazine has a profile this week of Senate Republican buddies John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and one passage really stands out–not for what it reveals about them, really, but about the media.

Michael Crowley writes:

Graham and McCain have been friends for more than a decade, a partnership born of their shared passion for national security (McCain was a Navy pilot, Graham is still an Air Force Reserve lawyer), a willingness to poke their party’s base in the eye and an uncanny knack for attracting the media’s attention. More surprising and quotable than bland party leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, they are virtual fixtures on the influential Sunday talk shows, a platform they use to drive the Washington agenda. Last March, McCain’s 64th appearance on NBC‘s Meet the Press set the show’s all-time record. Graham may break it someday, having appeared on at least one Sunday show five of the past 10 weeks.

What exactly is a “shared passion for national security” supposed to mean? In the real world, McCain and Graham are super-hawks, supporting most any effort to use military force, almost anywhere in the world. In the corporate media, this is transformed into a concern for “national security.” But a rational observer might argue that supporting the Iraq War did not serve this country’s security, but undermined it.

Or one could note that both men supported military action in Libya–despite the fact that, a few years prior, they were in Libya meeting with Moammar Gadhafi and were pushing to provide him with military equipment. Were they not concerned with national security then? Or does the term just get affixed to war promoting Republicans?

The only other insight gleaned from this excerpt is that both men are obviously beloved by the Sunday television talk shows–apparently because they’re more “surprising” and “quotable” than some other Republicans.

There’s always a place for a “national security” Republican–no matter how wrong they’ve been.


About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.