Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Real McCain

One of Carey McWilliams's biggest achievements at The Nation was turning a journal of opinion into a forum for investigative journalism. Ramparts, of course, pushed that even further. Not only did the San Francisco muckraker break big stories, but its staff also had the publicity savvy to make the mainstream media pick them up.

That seems to be happening with a new PoliPointPress book called The Real McCain, which is charging to the top of's bestseller list. Cliff Schecter's profile of the GOP presidential candidate has given the mainstream media permission to talk about McCain's nasty temper, which insiders have known about for some time.

I highly recommend the FoxNews interview in which McCain claims, after a false start or two, that the reports are "false or exaggerated." He then bridges quickly to his talking points about what really makes him angry: bloated budgets, corruption, etc. Not very convincing. Other news sites and blogs haven't been as accommodating as Fox.

As PoliPointPress's editorial director, I'm not exactly a neutral observer. But there should be a place in our political discourse for frank assessments of a major candidate's temperament.

BTW, the book is an original trade paperback; on, it costs $10--about the same price as a beer in New York or a bank-owned house in Stockton.


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