This Ex-POW Senator Never Sold Out Conservatives, So Media All But Ignored Death Compared to McCain's


Before we begin this article, let’s first address all the objections people who are already firing off emails based on the headline will have: Sen. John McCain deserved to be honored. Many of us at The Western Journal may have disagreed with him or the politicization of his death, but he was a war hero who served his country both in the military and through public service.

The funny thing, however, is that the media never praised McCain’s public service unless it involved selling out conservatives. Other than that, he was considered a far-right-wing racist reactionary whose choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate brought about a time of populist “shedding and cold rocks.”

But, as was pointed out time and time again during the memorial service and funeral, McCain was a POW. That’s what we were honoring — not the fact that McCain occasionally engaged in the kind of “bipartisanship” the media likes, which is the kind in which the compromise involves Republicans doing what Democrats want and Democrats not calling them racist for once. Right?

Well, as the American Spectator pointed out, when another Vietnam POW who went on to serve as a senator died, we didn’t exactly have the Capitol Rotunda affair that we had for McCain.

“Six years before McCain’s election to the Senate, Alabama voters sent retired Rear Adm. Jeremiah Denton to Washington’s upper chamber,” Joseph P. Duggan wrote in a piece published Sunday.

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Denton was in detention longer and had a more distinguished military career before his imprisonment in Vietnam after his A6A Intruder was shot down.

“After their release in 1973, Denton and McCain continued naval service. Denton was promoted to rear admiral and served as commandant of the Armed Services Staff College before retiring in 1977. McCain overcame catastrophic injuries and torture to return to the air pilot’s seat. In 1977, the Navy assigned him to Capitol Hill as its liaison (de facto lobbyist) to the Senate,” Duggan wrote.

“In civilian life, Denton found a place as one of the first Catholic intellectuals to make common cause with the populist, largely Evangelical Protestant ‘religious right’ of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority and Pat Robertson’s movement. He moved to his native Mobile, where he turned down suggestions to run for the Senate in 1978 for the seat won that year by Democrat Howell Heflin.

“Two years later, Denton decided to run for the Senate as a Republican. Despite a huge disadvantage in fundraising, he stunned the GOP establishment by winning the primary against its anointed favorite, a former Democratic congressman who had switched parties after leaving office and as the conservative state gravitated towards the Republican column,” he added.

Do you think the media politicized John McCain's death?

“The national mainstream media welcomed Sen. Denton to the capital with the same sort of respect and affection they always have shown to other Alabama social-issues conservatives such as Roy Moore or the pre-recusant Jeff Sessions.”

Denton lost in 1986, the same year that McCain was elected to the Senate. Duggan points out differences between Denton and McCain, the biggest of which, he said, was their level of self-aggrandizement.

“Senators normally have very big egos, and Denton was normal in this sense,” he wrote. “McCain was an outlier — an extraordinary egomaniac — even within a universe of enormous egos.”

Denton died in 2014 at the age of 89.

“He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His funeral did not preempt television coverage of soap-operas, sitcoms, or sporting events. His pallbearers did not include Warren Beatty, but no one, obscure or famous, was told not to attend the ceremony,” Duggan wrote.

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And that was the catch — that McCain was anti-Trump. Yes, he may have gotten his party’s nomination for president, but let’s see how much coverage Michael Dukakis’ death warrants.

McCain didn’t like the current president. Everything else was pretty much irrelevant, including (especially) his POW status. Just ask Jeremiah Denton’s family.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture