McCain vs. CNN

John McCain lashed out at CNN for its coverage of the GOP senator's reaction to a questioner at a town hall meeting who used an uncomplimentary term to refer to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
John McCain lashed out at CNN for its coverage of the GOP senator's reaction to a questioner at a town hall meeting who used an uncomplimentary term to refer to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. (By Ross D. Franklin -- Associated Press)

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

THE 'B' MATTER

McCain vs. CNN

John McCain, who is drawing criticism for not challenging a South Carolina voter's vulgar reference to Hillary Clinton, yesterday issued a letter accusing CNN of having "stooped to an all-time low" in trumpeting the incident.

On Monday night, when a woman at a town hall meeting asked how Republicans could beat Clinton -- calling her a word that rhymes with "witch" -- McCain smiled as the crowd laughed and said it was an "excellent question." After citing a poll showing him beating her in a general-election matchup, the senator from Arizona said: "I respect Senator Clinton. I respect anyone who gets the nomination of the Democrat Party."

Anchor Rick Sanchez led off his "Out in the Open" show with the video, saying: "This could be real bad for John McCain. . . . No matter what you think of Hillary Clinton, is John McCain done as a result of this? . . . I think he could be in trouble for this from women."

Campaign manager Rick Davis, in a fundraising letter, charged the "Clinton News Network" with "gratuitously attacking" McCain. He said that CNN "owes John McCain an apology because of the outrageous behavior" of Sanchez, and that "the liberal media" are "trying to stop the McCain comeback."

Sanchez sees no need for an apology, saying McCain "has not addressed what many would see as embracing a word that is demeaning to women. He did not seem to respond appropriately to an offensive word," Sanchez said, and instead is trying "to get people to focus attention . . . on the messenger."

-- Howard Kurtz

Kurtz hosts CNN's weekly media program, "Reliable Sources."

DOCUMENTS FOR THE UNDOCUMENTED

License to Attack Clinton

After all the hoopla, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) officially dropped his plan to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants yesterday. But the damage to the Democratic presidential candidates -- and, overwhelmingly, Hillary Clinton -- may already be done.


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