Not that I should probably pick on them more than anyone else. Even the usually reliable Boston Globe had a set-piece about how Saint John was going to be a "maverick" again and how "moving" his speech was.
McCain spoke movingly about his years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and how it changed him from a selfish and brash young man to a mature "servant" of his country. "I've never lived a day, in good times or in bad, that I don't thank God for that privilege," he said.
It's just that the ever-predictable Adam Nagourney outdid himself praising McC's manliness. He was "firm", he "pledged", he's "an iconoclast", a locution I don't mind him using because it's so esoteric very few people know what it means, even educated people. But it sounds positive (if it isn't, you know, dirty). You don't find out about the less attractive aspects of St John's evening until well down in the article, stuff like protesters and an unresponsive audience sitting on its hands.
it was often offered in a monotone as he stood before a solid-color backdrop that flicked from green to blue. The reaction was far more subdued than it was the night before for his running mate, Ms. Palin. There were stretches in which he drew only a smattering of applause.
One of the livelier moments of the evening came when Mr. McCain was interrupted by several antiwar protestors who had infiltrated the hall. Their signs were quickly ripped from their hands, and they were carried out of the arena as the crowd shouted, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
Mr. McCain, who by now has become accustomed to these kinds of interruptions, responded with a smile. “Please don’t be diverted by the ground noise and the static,” Mr. McCain said, before adding “Americans want us to stop yelling at each other.”
Then why did Sarah Palin spend half her speech last night yelling at Obama and liberals?
Clearly the NYT narrative crafted by Nagourney and the rest of the Village is that McC is going to try to take Obama's "post-partisan" tactic away from him (and good luck to you on that, Johnny), and move a tad closer to the center from the ultrafar-right by preaching that "we all get along". Maybe he's been reading the polls that suggest people have finally had it with right-wing smear campaigns, but then again there was Palin's speech suggesting no such thing. So this is "above the fray" stuff, presidential fluff. As Glenn Greenwald put it in a post called "The GOP's Cheerful Viciousness":
Ever since Ronald Reagan's election, this is what the Republicans do every four years. They render issues irrelevant and convert campaigns into cultural wars and personality referenda. They converted our elections into tawdry reality shows long before networks realized their entertainment value. And every four years, Democrats seems shocked and paralyzed by all of this and desperately delude themselves into believing that mean-spirited "negativity" and nastiness will alienate voters, while the media swoons at the potency of these attacks.
The Republicans are well aware that they can't possibly win the election if it is even partially decided based on issues. They need and intend to win despite the fact that Americans hate their positions on the issues, and to do that, they want to ensure that a majority of Americans love and respect the strong, honorable, principled, culturally familiar all-American mavericks John McCain and Sarah Palin (even if they don't agree with them on everything) while strongly disliking that wishy-washy, snooty, foreign, exotic, self-absorbed Eastern elitist Barack Obama (even if he says the right things on issues).
(emphasis in original)
That's the story the corporate media will tell because the Pubs don't have anything else to sell. Nobody wants any part of their policies and can't wait for the Dark Ages of Bush to end. Only if they can convince Americans that McC is a Good Man, Honest and True, no matter how much he sounds like the arch-evil Emperor, can the GOP have any hope of winning. And if Adam has anything to say about it, that's what's going to happen.