Yesterday in a chat with USA Today reporters, former President Jimmy Carter complained that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was "milking every possible drop of advantage" from his stay in the Hanoi Hilton.
Perhaps picking up on that talking point, Time magazine's Michael Scherer asked in an August 28 article, "Is McCain Overplaying the POW Card?" Yet not once in his did Scherer point to Carter's comments. Instead Scherer resorted to the ever-so-reliable journalistic convention of "some critics":
some critics say he is overplaying his trump card. At several points over the past two weeks, the McCain campaign has raised his military service in efforts to defuse political attacks, even when it seemed to have little if any bearing on the issue at hand. When the Obama campaign laid into McCain for not knowing the number of houses owned by his family, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told the Washington Post that "this is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years - in prison," a refrain McCain himself repeated more recently during an appearance on The Tonight Show.
Funny, I don't recall the media wondering if John Kerry was milking his Vietnam swift boat service for all it was worth -- after all he did open his nomination acceptance speech with a decidedly cheesy line: "I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty."
In fact, liberals media seemed enthralled with Kerry's "band of brothers." and how it could help him answer Republican charges that Democrats were not strong enough on national defense.