Watching Hardball last night, Chris Matthews' rant on why the press likes John McCain rang true to me.
Whether we admit it openly or not, there are some politicians we in the media "like" and others we don't think as highly of. The same goes for press people. So what is it that earns a journalist's lust?
I think Matthews --- borrowing from writer Neal Gabler -- captured it pretty well in this graph:
"Let`s talk about the thing -- Neal Gabler`s piece today writes about Hollywood. He`s written some great books. He said in this piece today in the "New York Times" that the one reason the press likes McCain is, unlike a lot of stiff politicians -- let me not be too ungenerous, but you can think of the list, very serious, earnest politicians, Dukakis, Senator Clinton, Mitt Romney. They are very goody two shoes. They`re very, here is what I have to say. I take it very seriously. And then you have guys like McCain who sort of enjoy -- they have a self-awareness. They understand that there is a game aspect to this. They understand that part of it is a catch me kind of game. They seem to enjoy it in a way that says, I am as smart as you guys. I get it."
So here seems to be the rules . . . The Press doesn't like
1) Stiff pols
2) Pols who take themselves or the policy they are touting that day too seriously
3) Pols who are willing to lie to your face without a wink
4) Pols who won't acknowledge that sometimes politics is a game
5) Pols who aren't willing to take one of us on and put us in our place once in awhile