Many heartfelt tributes have poured out from members of the media about the late Senator John McCain, but they have seemingly forgot about their tumultuous relationship with him.
The attacks on McCain ratcheted up a notch when he became the Republican nominee for the 2008 presidential election.
Following one of the presidential debates in 2008, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews said, “Let’s start with John McCain. Do you think he was too troll-like tonight? You know, too much of a troll?…Do people really want to put up with four years of that?”
Trump was in “birther” mode laughing with a fan who said Obama was a Muslim, not an American. Could have been McCain moment- he failed it.
— Chris Matthews (@HardballChris) September 18, 2015
The MSNBC host changed his tone about McCain this week after he announced he would stop receiving treatment for cancer and then when he passed away. Matthews’ show, Hardball, tweeted out a clip of Matthews saying, “Put that in a time capsule as proof that American political leaders spoke that way of their rivals,” on Friday.
Also in 2008, the New York Times published a front-page story that alluded to the Arizona senator having an inappropriate relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman. She later sued the NYT because the article suggested she was in a romantic relationship with McCain in exchange for legislative favors. The suit was settled out of court.
At the time, Today show anchor Matt Lauer relentlessly questioned McCain’s lawyer about the alleged infidelity.
Upon learning of the senator’s passing, CNN’s Dana Bash offered heartfelt thanks to the man she says taught her “how to be serious, without taking ourselves too seriously.”
“I want to say thank you, John McCain. Thank you for teaching reporters like me, who followed you around for a living, how to be serious, without taking ourselves too seriously”: @DanaBashCNN pays tribute to Sen. John McCain https://t.co/m7LdS82wBg pic.twitter.com/ob70xDWEUD
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 26, 2018
But, when Bash was covering him during the election, she referred to McCain’s fiscal policies as “heartless” in an interview with him. She also asked if he was worried that the American people would view him that way.
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