Joe McCain, Ex-Reporter, Wants To Talk

Sen. John McCain’s younger brother, a onetime reporter, wants the McCain campaign to re-open press access (to the candidate and “those who know him” and can most effectively talk him up). The younger McCain apparently emailed as much “to all who have a ‘McCain08’ or an ‘RNC’ address.” From that email:

And most especially, let those who know him talk to the people about him, through the press. This policy of trying to so tightly ‘control the message’ by cutting off those who know him from the cacophony of national and local voices — the reporters and the editors — is counter-intuitive, counter-experiential, and counter-productive. It creates ligatures and tourniquets that are causing gangrene. It has gradually bled away all the good will that this great man had from the press, for he alone among politicians would talk to them openly, without finesse, without guile. And regardless of the their political lean - and whether we like it or not, reporters think and have opinions - they loved him nonetheless.

At the end of the email, McCain offers a script he drafted for a TV ad, one that he apparently believes better showcases the John McCain he knows and thinks America needs to know — and it includes a 3am phone call.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.