“The media can make anyone sound mysterious and unknowable,” writes Howard Kurtz in today’s Washington Post, and then tries to prove that by penning the “scary” voiceover for an imagined anti-McCain ad:

John McCain was a Navy hell-raiser who got shot down over North Vietnam. What do we know about what really went on in that prison camp? And why did he divorce his first wife? How do we square the campaign finance reformer of today with the man who peddled influence as one of the Keating Five? And what do those stories about his temper tell us about his fitness to be commander-in-chief?

“See?” Kurtz concludes (in a column about how “the latest conservative assault on Barack Obama [is] that we don’t really know who he is”). “You can make anyone sound like a walking bundle of contradictions keeping a dark side under wraps.”

I see.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.