Team McCain vs. the MSM [Greg Pollowitz]
From part 4 of the Newsweek behind the scenes piece on Team McCain's relationship with the MSM:
Traveling on a national presidential campaign can be exhilarating, but it is also exhausting, and it can be disorienting. Campaign aides can spend months far from home and family, living out of suitcases, eating junk food and drinking too much. The seats on the back half of the campaign plane are usually filled with Secret Service agents whose job it is to protect the candidate from being assassinated, and reporters whose job it is (or appears to be) to catch the candidate slipping up. No wonder that from time to time, campaign aides like to hit the hotel bar at night.
Salter's drinking buddy was Steve Schmidt. Early in the campaign, they would drink deep into the night, working themselves up about the awfulness of the press and the shallowness of Obama, whom they giddily mocked as "the One." (They were riffing off a Maureen Dowd column; with her sharp reporter's eye, the New York Timeswoman had poked fun at Oprah Winfrey's adulation of Obama as "the One.") Egged on by Schmidt, Salter railed against the press for ignoring McCain and deifying Obama. "McCain goes to Iraq—they only make fun of him. Obama goes to Europe—three anchors and 200 other reporters go to chronicle the history-making Save America's Reputation Tour," Salter acidly remarked to a NEWSWEEK reporter after getting stoked up night after night with Schmidt.
Salter and Schmidt were a bit of an odd couple. Though gruff and sarcastic, Salter was a humanist who was able to see reporters as human beings, even if he regarded them as tragically flawed, caught in a losing battle between idealism and cynicism. Schmidt preferred to see the world in black and white; individual reporters might be tolerable, even likable, but the press was simply the enemy. Salter had a temper, and it showed in angry e-mails telling off reporters (one such missive to a NEWSWEEK editor concluded, "You're making this s––– up"). Schmidt, when mad, became intense, prosecuting offenders carefully and deliberately.
11/06 01:14 PMShare