By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Man bites dog

The Phoenix’s David Bernstein salutes Mike Barnicle for writing a tough Huffington Post piece on John McCain, whom he had praised fulsomely for many years.

I’ll go halfway there. Barnicle is mighty critical of McCain, and it’s wondrous to see. But he can’t quite seem to get it through his head that it was McCain himself who hired the advisers “who took his honor and reputation and tossed it out like so many discarded items for a yard sale.” As I said the other day, there is no such thing as candidates who are better than their campaigns.

Here’s what I’d really like to know. What would David Nyhan think? I can’t recall a liberal pundit more enamored of McCain than Nyhan was. Unfortunately, he’s not here to tell us.

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  1. Bill H.

    Whatever his faults and weaknesses–and they are undisputed–nobody writes like Barnicle.

  2. O-FISH-L

    “Now, with time running out, he [McCain] has only a few days left to try and reclaim himself, to find the man he once was, the whole man who could charm a crowd with his version of the truth.”—-Mike Barnicle suggesting that someone else has run out of time to reclaim himself and that the folks can be charmed by one’s own version of the truth? If anyone under 50 remembered Barnicle I’d say this was a SNL skit for tonight, but apparently it’s not intended as farce, which makes it all the funnier.That the media’s best known plagiarist would save his sharpest attacks for the opponent of politics’ best known plagiarist is telling. Is the NYT Crossword still allowing “ape” as the answer for behavior like that of Barnicle or Biden, or are all references to hominoids verboten as non-PC this year?Perhaps Barnicle can bring some of the fictitious subjects of his past columns to the nonexistent diner Joe Biden claims to frequent and there resume the conversation about insulting our intelligence.

  3. O-FISH-L

    Bill H. — Nobody writes like Barnicle? Sure they do, and they usually write it before he writes the exact same thing as his own. Please!

  4. Dan Kennedy

    [N]obody writes like Barnicle.Well, Fish has the most obvious response. But even when Barnicle’s behaving himself, he’s a hack. Sorry.

  5. O'Rion

    I read it yesterday, the first “Barnicle” in a long, long time. I have a expanding list–like Wolcott– of people I’d prefer never hearing from again. Mike, Cokie Roberts,Tom Brokaw, Gwen Ifill, Mara Liasson, Colin Powell, David Broder, Lieberman…

  6. Brad

    And this kind of drivel was so compelling that Paul LaCamera nearly gave Barnicle a job at WBUR?!?

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