Last week, Sen. Joe Biden (D-IL) sat down for an interview with Barbara West of WFTV in Orlando, FL. The result was one of the most “embarrassing,” “hostile,” and “blatantly biased” interviews of the campaign season, according to media experts. One example of West’s questions to Biden was whether Obama wanted to “turn America into a Socialist country like Sweden.” Following that decision, the campaign canceled West’s upcoming interview with Biden’s wife.
Yesterday in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was incredulous that the Obama campaign would “boycott” WFTV: “And of course, if anybody in the media, much less Joe the Plumber asks a tough question, then they’re boycotted. They pull their ads, etc.” Watch it:
McCain should know all about boycotting the media. Some examples:
— McCain canceled an appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live after CNN’s Campbell Brown conducted a tough interview with McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds about Palin’s foreign policy experience.
— Last month, the McCain campaign barred New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd from flying on both the McCain and Palin press planes after she wrote a negative column.
— McCain campaign officials barred Time’s Joe Klein from traveling with them, after he asked McCain an uncomfortable question about foreign policy.
— Campaign officials have repeatedly gone on air to bash journalists after tough interviews, saying that Katie Couric asked Palin “a series of trapdoor questions,” the New York Times “cast aside it’s journalistic integrity to advocate for the defeat of John McCain,” and demanded that the media treat Palin with “deference.”
Yesterday, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani leveled similar charges against the Obama campaign, saying that the West debacle “gives an indication of what an Obama administration would be like. I mean, as long as you drink their Kool-Aid, you’re fine.” Earlier in the week, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney condoned West’s interview, saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
J. MCCAIN: This Joe the Plumber event has really been a catalyst. It really has. You know we look back on political campaigns. I paid for this microphone, Mr. Breen. Ed Muskie crying outside the Union Leader, or whatever it was, you know?
There are moments when something happened, and clearly Senator Obama going to Joe the Plumber’s drive way, and him getting an answer that clearly he didn’t like, and, by the way, the way that they attacked him, please.
HANNITY: They’ve gone after him pretty hard. They’ve mocked him on the campaign trail. There’s been, apparently, issues of investigating his background.
HANNITY: And I thought Governor Palin had it bad at one point when they sent a mini army up to Alaska to investigate her. Well, here’s —
McCAIN: And of course, if anybody in the media, much less Joe the Plumber asks a tough question, then they’re boycotted. They pull their ads, etc.