It reads as follows:
When Republicans gathered at Madison Square Garden to celebrate President Bush's second nomination four years ago, Senator John McCain gathered at a restaurant uptown with some of the biggest stars in journalism to celebrate his birthday. Among those mingling over cocktails and fine French food with Mr. McCain and his wife, Cindy, were Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Bob Schieffer, Maureen Dowd, Tim Russert -- ''our people,'' as an old campaign hand reminisced on Wednesday.
I find the implications of this simply staggering. Tom Brokaw (as well as Bob Schieffer, who is the moderator for the final presidential debate next week) is a close personal friend of John McCain's, so close that he has shared intimate birthday celebrations with him. So close that McCain's staff referred to Brokaw as one of "our people."
The Times article went on to report some of the attacks on the media that the Republicans were engaging in at their convention. But there was nothing in the article to suggest that Brokaw and McCain have had any sort of a break whatsoever (the article did quote Schieffer calling Steve Schmidt's attacks on the press "kind of odd").
Indeed, the recent evidence proves that Brokaw, at least, is still very much in the pocket of his old buddy Johnny Mac. For instance:
- At the Democratic Convention in late August, Brokaw said:
"For Bill Clinton, and for anyone in the Democratic party for that matter, it's a very tricky case taking on John McCain and trying to rough him up. When John McCain was sitting in a prison in Hanoi, Bill Clinton was writing letters to his ROTC commander and trying to get out of the draft, which he did successfully."
- Hosting Meet the Press with David Axelrod and Steve Schmidt on September 28, 2008, Brokaw ended the campaign managers' debate with the following statement:
MR. BROKAW: In fairness to everybody here, I'm just going to end on one note, and that is that we continue to poll on who's best equipped to be commander in chief, and John McCain continues to lead in that category despite the criticism from Barack Obama by a factor of 53 to 42 percent in our latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
In fact, however, the "latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll" at that time did not
even include a question on "who's best equipped to be commander-in-chief." Brokaw simply made up his gratuitous pro-McCain statement.
- As has been reported in other diaries, the Times also reported last week that Brokaw has been a "peacemaker between NBC and McCain":
But less widely known is that Mr. Brokaw has also played a pivotal role out of public view, both within NBC and in its dealings with the campaign of John McCain in particular.
In an interview here after Sunday’s broadcast, Mr. Brokaw said that over the summer he had "advocated" within the executive suite of NBC News to modify the anchor duties of the MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews on election night and on nights when there were presidential debates. . . .
Mr. Brokaw said he had also conducted some shuttle diplomacy in recent weeks between NBC and the McCain campaign. His mission, he said, was to assure the candidate’s aides that — despite some negative on-air commentary by Mr. Olbermann in particular — Mr. McCain could still get a fair shake from NBC News. Mr. Brokaw said he had been told by a senior McCain aide, whom he did not name, that the campaign had been reluctant to accept an NBC representative as one of the moderators of the three presidential debates — until his name was invoked.
"One of the things I was told by this person was that they were so irritated, they said, ‘If it’s an NBC moderator, for any of these debates, we won’t go,’ " Mr. Brokaw said. "My name came up, and they said, ‘Oh, hell, we have to do it, because it’s going to be Brokaw.’ "
Gee, I wonder why the McCain camp felt so comfortable with Brokaw as the moderator. The Times noted Brokaw's statement that while
he and the Republican nominee are not personal friends, he did say they are "friendly" and "always had a great relationship."
Boy, that makes me feel a lot better. I guess Brokaw conveniently forgot about that intimate birthday celebration with John and Cindy and the rest of the super-wealthy media elites.
Kossacks, we must have Barack's back tonight. He is walking into enemy territory.
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