McCain’s Sixteenth Minute

by Brien Jackson

The TAP editors ask:

Listening to Sen. John McCain talk about the economy is starting to feel like watching Kanye West after an awards ceremony. Paul Waldman considers the failed candidate’s sixteenth minute and asks why the media is still paying attention to him. Any thoughts as to why he’s clinging to the spotlight?

Well, the most obvious answer is because McCain is still a very senior, very high profile, member of the Senate. It wouldn’t reallyhave made much sense for the media to start ignoring John Kerry altogether after the 2004 election, because he was still directly relevant to the political process, indeed he’s now the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. In the event the Republicans regain control of the Senate, McCain will again be chairing a committee, and be amongst the most senior members of the majority party. So he’s no exactly irrelevant.

But more to the point, the media likes John McCain because McCain is basically a pundit. He goes on television and delivers perfectly made-for-TV arguments; concise, misleading, argumentative, and ignorant. So in McCain a producer has the best thing ever (for them), a member of the Senate who also knows how to script a good television segment.

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