By definition, it’s hard to confront people who make careers of evasiveness. But it can be done. Katie Couric showed the way when she refused to take flight in the face of Sarah Palin’s meanderings last week. Some journalists have gotten off the McCain bandwagon, realizing that Mr. Straight Talk, profane, gossipy, blunt, was taking them for one ride after another. Stephanopoulos himself has been tougher on him before. I can’t think of any good reason why he let up now.

P. S. The competition was no better. On Meet the Press, McCain operative Steve Schmidt declared that his candidate “called for the firing of Don Rumsfeld.” Tom Brokaw did not challenge this statement. Crooks and Liars gives several examples of McCain explicitly opposing Rumsfeld’s defenestration.

The same site also notes that Brokaw said: “[W]e continue to poll on who is best equipped to be Commander in Chief, John McCain continues to lead in that category, despite the criticism from Barack Obama, by a factor of 53 to 42 percent in our latest NBC/WSJ poll.” But the NBC/WSJ poll didn’t ask about being the commander in chief, claims Crooks and Liars. I checked; they’re right. What’s going on over at NBC?

If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of 10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.

Todd Gitlin , who teaches journalism at Columbia, is the author of a new book, Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street.