Obit Omit: What the Media Leaves Out of John McCain’s Record of Misogyny and Militarism | Democracy Now!
NORMAN SOLOMON: It’s really natural to have a lot of empathy for someone who suffered through brain cancer, admiration for people who withstood great hardships with pride and determination. However, what we’ve seen is really what could be called the phenomenon of obit omit—obituaries that are flagrantly in conflict with the real historical record. And when you stop and think about it, you know, journalism is supposed to be the first draft of history. And when history is falsified in the way that we’re getting in the last few couple of days now, several days, really, in the lead-up to Senator McCain’s death, it’s really a kind of a fraudulence on the part of the U.S. mass media. If John McCain was a maverick, it’s only a high jump over very low standards. And while there were certainly some, from a progressive standpoint, admirable characteristics that he had, he also was a huge enthusiast for war, which included after his return from being a prisoner in Vietnam.
And, you know, look at his career. He was a man who was involved in a massive financial scandal in the late 1980s. He was part of the Keating Five, the savings-and-loan scandal. He agitated, as you mentioned, Amy, in your introduction, for the illegal and catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq—never apologized, never showed any regret for that. In 2008, he ran a nasty, desperate and bigoted campaign for the presidency of the United States, alongside Sarah Palin, which, as you pointed out, again, did pave the way for the election of Donald Trump and for Trumpism in 2016.
MEDEA BENJAMIN: Yes. We had constantly been lobbying John McCain to not support all these wars. Amy, I think it’s so horrible to be calling somebody a war hero because he participated in the bombing of Vietnam. I just spent the last weekend with Veterans for Peace, people who are atoning for their sins in Vietnam by trying to stop new wars. John McCain hasn’t done that. With his life, what he did was support wars from not only Iraq, but also Libya. He called John Kerry delusional for trying to make a nuclear deal with Iran, and threw his lot in with the MEK, the extremist group in Iran. He also was a good friend of Mohammad bin Salman and the Saudis. There was a gala for the Saudis in May when the crown prince was visiting, and they had a special award for John McCain. He supported the Saudi bombing in Yemen that has been so catastrophic. And I think we have to think that those who have participated in war are really heroes if they spend the rest of their lives trying to stop war, not like John McCain, who spent the rest of his life supporting war.