Sen. John McCain's decision this week to suspend his campaign and return to Washington to help address the financial mess wasn't an example of his campaign slogan "Country First." Instead - according to Democrats and the media - it was a chance for McCain to sabotage the deal so he could take credit for rebuilding it.
"Some Democrats suspect that he tried, that he's coming in, working with the House Republicans to blow this up so he can put it back together and get some credit," ABC Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos said and "World News with Charles Gibson" Sept. 25. "It's not clear that he's signed on entirely to the House Republican plans."
Stephanopoulos' suggestion was similar to accusations made by Sen. Barack Obama, McCain's Democratic opponent in the presidential race.
The Obama camp has called McCain's decision to suspend his campaign and return to the capital to help work on a bailout plan a "political stunt." In a Sept. 25 statement, reported by Politico, Obama's team said McCain's move was "aimed more at shoring up the Senator's political fortunes than the nation's economy."
The media have repeatedly sided with Obama on economic issues during the campaign. They have hounded the Republican vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, on earmarks while virtually ignoring the pork barrel requests made by Obama and his running-mate, Sen. Joe Biden.
Journalists have also tended to blame the financial mess on Republicans and their support for free market principles. But they've remained generally quiet on Democrats' role in creating, supporting and running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the beleaguered government-sponsored enterprises at the heart of the crisis.