We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Why is John McCain kicking the bucket a big deal with the media?

US Senator John McCain, an ultra-hawk super-statist on the leftmost edge of GOP, kicked the bucket recently. And it seems that this is big news, given the constant stream of articles on the topic ever since. But why is that? And in particular, why are the BBC and Sky, both UK based channels, headlining this when when the vast majority of people outside the USA have a level of interest approaching zero? Yes, it warrants reporting but why is such an event being bigged up like this? Was it because he had the good manners to lose an election to Barack Obama?

31 comments to Why is John McCain kicking the bucket a big deal with the media?

  • Fraser Orr

    FWIW, no. I think it is because he hated and opposed Trump (especially in his pivotal, and undoubtedly spiteful vote on the Obamacare repeal.) A Trump hater with a Silver Star from the Republican party? He is the perfect hammer against bad, nasty Trump. (Ironically, he and Trump were quite alike personally, grumpy, self seeking curmudgeons both.)

    Of course it is sad when anybody dies for their family and friends, but I thought we didn’t have royalty in America.

  • brightdark

    Honestly most Americans couldn’t care less about this either.

  • CaptDMO

    IMHO, In THIS case…
    The Pomp and Circumstance has become the MacGuffin for political pathos.
    Just as planned.

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    Al-Beeb and Sky would love there to be a lefty power running the US, so the loss of a left-leaner (especially when pretending to be a Republican) makes them very sad. While there is no reason for we on the damp side of the pond to care overmuch about American politics our wretched MSM nurse an agenda and so everything must fit ‘the cause’

    What little I know about McCain didn’t inspire me and I note many US citizens think the man as a RINO did some less than wonderful things. But that is the lot of people in politics: lionised by some irrespective of their errors and failings, fed to the lions by others no matter what good they did. I suppose then it depends, in the final analysis, what your editor or media-owner thinks that matters most.

  • lucklucky

    Because the Marxist media think can use him against Trump. Despite same media calling the deceased senator Hitler or near when he run against Obama…

    There is nothing else to it than there is no journalism only politics disguised as.

  • The Powers that Be know that Trump has legacy killing info on McCain and are desperate to prop him up enough to survive that exposure.

  • john in cheshire

    I wish the’ Mockingbird Media’, which includes the far-left bbc, the far-left Ch4 and the far-left running dog Sky, would investigate the UK’s involvement in the President Trump fake Russia dossier. What did Mrs May know about Christopher Steele’s activities and when did she know it? Who authorised Christopher Steele to work for Crooked Hillary and the US Democrat party and why?

    Eulogising a bad man is a side issue and a diversion from what’s been going on and the UK swamp seems to be in it up to their eyeballs.

  • Jacob

    The insane English media is parroting the insane US media.

  • Mr Ed

    Because he hated Mr Trump.

    And TrumpisFarageisRees-MoggisGriffinisMoseleyisHitler in their minds.

  • bobby b

    I walked into a shop yesterday to buy something, and I asked the cashier why their flag was at half-mast.

    The cashier said “somebody important died.”

    That pretty much sums up the personal impact McCain had on most people here in Midwest USA. Of people under thirty, most have some memory that he ran against Obama at some point, and have a foggy thought that he was a national politician for some western state, but couldn’t specify in any more detail than that.

    He was simply, and mostly, someone who the lefty press loved to hoist in our faces to show us what a proper Republican ought to be – a liberal, in other words. They used his POW experience to try to shame us into revering him, except when he threatened their god Barrack, and then they made him out to be a child-molesting monster. Now that he’s no threat, they love him again.

    The one other factor driving this press-frenzy is that the specter of liberal press bias has become so well illuminated that the press sees great benefit in being able to heap praise upon some Republican – any Republican – and a dead Republican is a safe target for their celebration.

    The press here really is a stupid and mindless lot.

  • Alsadius

    Because he’s been an important figure in American politics for decades, has been relevant up to the day he died, and his death also makes the balance of power in the Senate even more precarious. It’s big news in US politics, and for better or worse US politics is big news globally.

    The tone of the reporting varies immensely based on the political circumstances – like all politicians, he gets held up as a crazy extremist when he’s the biggest threat, and a moderate by comparison if there’s another bigger threat. The media plays that game every day, and McCain got more of it than most. But while that changes how he’s presented, it doesn’t make him relevant. He earned that the old-fashioned way, by actually being relevant.

  • Agammamon

    vast majority of people outside the USA have a level of interest approaching zero?

    The vast majority of people outside the US who aren’t, you know, *brown*. Because those people ought to be breathing a little sigh of relief that one of our strongest warhawks won’t be around to cheerlead the deployment of yet another drone team to blow up anyone who happens to be near someone who ‘fits a profile’.

    But yeah, I get you – McCain was the senior senator from my state and we mostly have ignored his passing here in Arizona.

    But mainly its because McCain and Trump were having a longstanding tiff – and so any excuse to pile on to Trump about something. Here the Left has pretty much silenced any criticism of McCain in order to be able to highlight ‘how much better he was’ than Trump.

  • Jim

    Definitely because of his anti-Trump status, but also he can be painted as ‘the good Republican’ for losing to Obama gracefully, and not only that as being good friends with his political ‘enemies’ (the reality being he was probably more of a Democrat than Republican so being pals with Dems was hardly a great jump across the ideological divide). Note this only works one way – Republicans are feted for agreeing with and socialising with Dems, but no-one is going to do the same for a Dem who reaches out to Republicans. They’re traitors to the cause of course……he also got the ‘man of great personal integrity, despite our political disagreements’ call, which is given by the Left to Rightist losers. No Rightist who wins an election is ever granted any moral integrity by the Left, they’re all evil scumbags, even in death. Especially in death in fact.

  • Bruce

    Old joke:

    One should only speak good of the dead.

    “He’s dead? Good.”

    Works for most occasions, dodgy grammar/syntax and gender inclusiveness permitting.

  • Eric

    The citizens of Arizona have been unrepresented in the US Senate for at least a year now. McCain was incapacitated by his brain tumor and refused to resign, while Jeff Flake has decided not to run for reelection and stopped showing up for votes.

    But I agree there’s no reason for anyone outside the US to care. McCain was only one of a hundred senators, so while he could never point to a country on the map that didn’t need bombing, he didn’t really have the ability to make it happen (for which I’m sure the Iranians are suitably grateful). Despite declaration of war being an enumerated power belonging to Congress, as a practical matter it’s the president who decides when the US goes to war.

    In recent years McCain’s influence he had ebbed quite a bit as Democrats hated him for being a Republican and Republicans got tired of the sharp left turn he made after every election. It’s really a testament to the powers of the incumbent he was able to stay in office at all.

  • K

    McCain’s campaign commercials specifically stated that he was in favor of repealing Obamacare and building a wall. In fact one commercial has him on camera out near the border actually saying “Build the damn wall”. Of course, he did nothing of the kind and in fact opposed both, but the Arizona voters returned him to office because he was better than a Democrat apparently. He did vote for Trump’s SCOTUS pick though so there’s that.

  • Paul Marks

    As others have said – this is just yet another way for the media (and the education system that produces the media – and much else that is bad) to attack President Trump.

    Do the media really care about John McCain the person? No they do not – I point to my normal example, the Economist magazine (house journal of the “liberal” elite) under the praise for Senator McCain in their obituary, the undertone of sneering contempt was clear.

    In private the “liberals” really think that the John McCain was the “Black Criminal” of that Marxist confession he was tortured into signing in Vietnam.

    John McCain was a “useful idiot” as far as evil men such as the Marxist Barack Obama were concerned, they USED John McCain whilst really despising him and all he believed in.

  • Fraser Orr

    The evidence that he is a hammer against Trump was made even more evident this morning where a lot of papers were complaining about the fact that he went to play golf instead of the funeral, even though it was well known that he wasn’t invited to the funeral. I also think that the man himself is most clearly illustrated by the fact that Sarah Palin wasn’t invited to his funeral.

    And I cannot but notice the glee with which they highlight his daughter’s comments during the eulogy which took a pretty minor swipe at some of the rhetoric of the President. She is obviously heavily grieving her father, which is completely understandable. How ugly of the media to use that honest grief to further their political agenda. One would have thought that John McCain’s funeral could have been about John McCain, but the deranged media thought, apparently, that it was about Trump.

    However, as Paul Marks points out in a comment in a previous thread, one must wonder how much of his erratic behavior was due to the brain tumor he had eating at his neurons. In the past he has been quite kind and generous to Palin, even in her crazy times, so I was surprised that he treated her so. And it is a fact that McCain’s primary craziness has come in the past few years. So it is hard to tell if Trump was the cause or if cancer was, or both.

    Of course “Trump” and “cancer”, the MSM can’t really tell the difference between the two.

    And if glioblastoma is McCain’s excuse for nutiness, what is the mainstream media’s excuse?

  • Laird

    As many here have already noted, the MSM lionized McCain because he was the Republican anti-Trump. But even before the Era of Trump they liked him because of his increasingly leftist positions. Most conservatives of my acquaintance (there are many) despised him for those same reasons. (Please note that the terms “conservative” and “Republican” are not synonymous.)

  • And in the UK, Conservative is in no way synonymous with conservative, given the current leader is a blue Blairite

  • Fraser:

    I disagree that those comments were born of honest grief.

  • orthodoc

    McCain was always willing to reach across the aisle to work with his opponents. The problem was that he was even more willing to stab his allies in the back, if it got him good press.
    Despite the fact that I voted for him (actually, against Obama), he would have been a disaster as President. The man never found a foreign crisis/issue/brouhaha that he didn’t want to solve by bombing someone.

  • Ellen

    I agree with Fraser Orr: it’s understandable for the McCains to dis-invite Trump. But for the McCains to dis-invite Sarah Palin was a scumbag move. In any case — brain tumor. Nobody with such a tumor can be trusted to think straight. Nobody living with that person will be likely to think straight, either. And arranging a funeral is hard on a calm mind.

    And we all know what the media are like.

  • Julie near Chicago

    What Ellen said.


    Anyway, I don’t “know” (online) anybody who voted for him. We all voted for Mrs. Palin.

    (And, of course, against the then-occupier of the office of the President.)

    Just as one voted for Trump instead of ceding a vote to Shrillary.

    There was a photo that circulated around the time of McCain’s “campaign,” of him yukking it up with T. Kenney and Lindsey Graham. Yecch. Made a girl’s tummy lurch, it did.

    And since I seem to be venting, I was very disappointed with her when Sarah P. went stumping for McC in his subsequent senatorial campaign. People tried to explain to me gently that “that’s politics” and that she “felt she owed him something.”

  • Snorri Godhi

    Inspired by the mentions of Sarah Palin in the comments, i had an insight: contrary to what Fraser Orr said in the 1st comment, McCain and Trump were NOT alike. Sure, there are similarities, but there is also a basic difference: it was better to be McCain’s enemy (like Bush+Obama) than his friend (like Palin). With Trump, it’s the other way around.

    What about his enmity to Trump, you might ask. My reply would be in 2 parts. (both conjectural.)
    * For Trump’s purposes, it is indeed better to be seen as McCain’s enemy, rather than his friend;
    * McCain’s enmity to Trump was not a reaction to Trump’s enmity to him: it was resentment at the fact that Trump succeeded where he failed.

  • Chip

    I’m relatively well informed but I can’t think of a single accomplishment by Sen. McCain. Not one. If we used a time machine and replaced him with Sen. John Smith how would the world be less well off?

    It wouldn’t. Makes no difference. Just another politician and yet more political theater.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Snorri, I don’t think that was the source of the animosity between McCain and Trump, though it might have been a contributor. More likely, McCain was, despite his “maverick” reputation, about as mainstream, committed to big government, a politician there was, so Trump stood against that which he stood for.

    But far more importantly was Trump’s rather inartful, and frankly quite rude, comment on how he wasn’t a hero because he got caught. That, I think, is the beating heart of the hatred. That, I think is why America still has Obamacare. You see, McCain is like Trump in another way — they are both EXTREMELY thin skinned.

    In regards to @chip’s comment, for my part I’d say “this senator did nothing” would be considered a compliment in my book, however, McCain is known for the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance law, which was one of the most disastrous pieces of legislation in the past thirty years. It was touted as a law that would restore trust in the political system…. how did that work out for you?

    Here is the WaPo (hardly a Trump supporter) on the subject:


  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser: i remember reading about Trump’s remark about McCain getting caught. No doubt i’d be resentful if somebody added insult to years of injury, as Trump did … and yet, wasn’t McCain subjected to comparable insults in 2000 and 2008, which (unlike Trump’s insults) led to injury, in the form of McCain losing the nomination in 2000 and the Presidency in 2008?
    I refer you to Glenn Reynolds’ article about that.
    Whatever the merits of McCain’s military career, it is somewhat nauseating to me to see that he earned posthumous praise by being nice to people who had treated him very badly indeed. I feel that McCain was disloyal to his supporters.

  • Brian Swisher

    Orthodoc, you summed up my reasons for my vote in 2008. Let me just add that, howver bad McCain would have been, I felt that he wouldn’t deliberately set out to *break the country*, as I thought Obama would.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Brian: Ditto.

    I still think that the Sith wanted to “fundamentally transform” America, in effect “breaking the country” by turning it into a Marxist country centrally planned by its rulers and socialist to the core.

    Of course that’s not what you tell the Plebes. Your line to them is “free stuff,” “soak the rich, it’s not fair and you’re entitled to shares of their wealth,” Equality for All (except “equality before the law,”) and Your Government Will See That Nothing Ill Befalls You. And you’ll have Free Government Health Care, no worries.

    And for himself, I still think he wanted to be a cross between Mugabe and Bruce Springsteen.

  • I also think that the man himself is most clearly illustrated by the fact that Sarah Palin wasn’t invited to his funeral. (Fraser Orr, September 2, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I chanced to be in the states in 2008. It was obvious to me that MSM opposition to McCain, though as dishonest as could be, was “just business”. As an opponent of “the first black president”, he had to be stopped, but they knew that and were prepared for it (and, just because they wanted it so much, were cautious early on about believing that this “first black president” thing was going to happen). So I was not surprised to see him back in their good books whenever he was useful.

    Their hatred of Palin, by contrast, was bitter, with an edge of hysteria. McCain chose her, she spoke, and for a brief period the polls flipped. Just as the MSM thought they had this “first black president” thing in the bag, suddenly it looked like this woman could take it from them. Real hatred of her was born then and never died. I always knew they would keep it going for years.

    Palin’s endorsing Trump prompted some thoughts in me (indicated in a comment or two on this blog) and was the moment I began to take Trump seriously.