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Op-Ed

The McCain-Trump Controversy Is a Hypocritical Joke

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President Donald Trump announced last week that he had saved America’s last remaining tank factory from closing, but all the liberal media seem to care about is how the president feels about a dead senator.

The whole episode reminds me of the Don Henley song “Dirty Laundry” — “kick ‘em when they’re up, kick ‘em when they’re down.” John McCain was vilified by the media and Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, but the media have now reversed their own attacks on the man.

The manufactured controversy started after Trump — whom McCain constantly attacked and undermined for the whole of Trump’s involvement in public life — tweeted a quote from former independent counsel Ken Starr about the widely reported fact that the late Sen. McCain helped spread the Democrat-funded “Steele dossier” around Washington in an effort to embarrass the newly-elected president, and worse, create the conditions for the flawed and partisan Mueller investigation.

That was all it took for the pro-Democrat “mainstream” media to unleash their attack dogs.

Following his meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro last week, reporters asked why the president was “attacking” McCain.

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Trump responded frankly, explaining that “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be.”

That didn’t satisfy the liberal media — NBC News even called his remarks about McCain “the ultimate bully move” — so the president abandoned the politically correct niceties and spoke his mind during his visit to the Lima Army Tank Plant, noting that he never received a thank you for authorizing the funeral arrangements that McCain had planned for himself.

Some have argued that the president should have just ignored the journalists who posed accusatory questions in an effort to drum up controversy, but that’s exactly what he did seven months ago when McCain passed away and it didn’t make any difference. The liberal media still ran dozens of hit pieces and breathless faux-outrage cable news segments about it in an attempt to goad the president to say something. Like the song goes “We can do ‘the innuendo,’ we can dance and sing and when it’s said and done we haven’ told you a thing” — this was indeed the case here.

“Fine,” you might say, “but couldn’t he have made the whole issue go away if he just mumbled a few kind words about McCain to satisfy the liberal media?”

Trump tried that approach, too, and all it got him was another round of hit pieces and faux-outrage cable news segments.

Judging from their aggrieved reactions to the notion that someone could dislike McCain, you would think journalists consider him to be some kind of a saint.

To be certain, McCain’s death last year, at age 81, was tragic. He served his country honorably in both Vietnam and the U.S. Senate, received nearly 60 million votes for president of the United States in 2008, and accepted his defeat to Barack Obama with poise and dignity.

The sudden canonization of St. John of Phoenix by the media, however, is pure, cynical dishonesty. Throughout McCain’s career in public service, liberal journalists alternated between praising and condemning him according to how it suited their political agenda — whenever he broke ranks with the GOP, they praised McCain as a centrist “maverick,” but when he became the Party’s standard bearer, they relentlessly demonized him as a right-wing extremist

The same people who are now lionizing the late-Sen. McCain, after all, spent the entirety of the 2008 campaign smearing him as a warmonger and worse.

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In fact, the opinions expressed in the media about McCain during that election campaign were far more denigrating than anything Trump has said about him. Unlike Trump, for instance, liberal journalists also called McCain a racist — repeatedly.

The media have been similarly disingenuous about McCain’s military record, turning an off-the-cuff remark Trump made in 2015 into a standard “#resistance” talking point, even though media outlets had themselves attacked McCain’s military record in the past — again, and again, and again.

It should be clear by now that the Democrat-aligned “journalists” in the mainstream press are just shedding crocodile tears in hopes of keeping the Trump-McCain feud in the news cycle a little bit longer.

They never actually liked John McCain — in some cases, they seem to have outright despised him — but they’ve always been willing to pretend they did if they thought it would hurt other Republicans. Even in death, McCain remains a useful pawn for the left-wing media. They should be ashamed…but as the song goes, “give us dirty laundry” — and that’s just what they gave the American public.

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer is a retired senior intelligence operations officer and Acting President of the London Center for Policy Research.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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