In yesterday’s Iowa caucus, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) finished fourth — behind senator Fred Thompson — receiving the support of only 13 percent of caucus-goers.
The traditional media, however, proclaimed McCain’s loss a triumph, as pundits quickly jumped in to herald McCain and his “fantastic” finish. ThinkProgress has compiled some lowlights from the media’s gushing television coverage:
MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle: “McCain’s stance on the war. They view it because of who he is and the eye contact during these town meetings. He’s the Babe Ruth of town meetings.”
Fox News’ Greta van Susteren: “I can’t think of anyone happier tonight than Sen. John McCain.”
Politico’s Mike Allen: “Tonight is a fantastic night for John McCain. … He’s one of the biggest winners of the night.”
Newsweek’s Jon Meacham: “To me, the great story about Sen. McCain is, when in doubt, give principle a try.”Fox News’ Carl Cameron: “Inside Washington, he’s been a real maverick outsider.”
D-day cuts through the media spin:
The fluffing is almost embarrassing. Journalists all over the country are doing the walk of shame this morning.Look, McCain finished FOURTH. A win for Huckabee is not a win for McCain. It’s a win for Huckabee. McCain may take New Hampshire by default, but nothing he did yesterday prepped him for that.
As Atrios said before the results poured in, “If McCain is rejected by 82% of caucusgoers he’s a ‘big hero’” in the traditional media’s eyes. (He was ultimately rejected by 87%.) Matt Yglesias has more.
UPDATE: Right-wing pundit Bob Novak joins the McCain train, calling him the “big winner.”