Hearing John McCain complain about the media treatment he's been getting or not getting lately reminds me of the 1964 presidential campaign of another Republican senator from Arizona.
I was the CBS News producer responsible for supervising coverage of Barry Goldwater's campaign when he and his aides maintained a steady barrage of complaints about the unfair coverage his candidate was receiving from "the Eastern Press Establishment." The phrase was engraved on gold-encrusted or brass lapel pins manufactured by Goldwater's most ardent supporter, an Arizona jeweler.
They were distributed to each of us that supposedly would identify those traveling with the senator's campaign swing around the country and get his supporters all riled up. We all went along with what was generally considered a gag by the reporters and we wore the pins with a smile every time we emerged from the senator's campaign plane.
So McCain's complaints have a rather hollow ring to them 44 years later. In 2000, he made his own attempts to woo the ink-stained wretches and broadcast journalists in that last failed attempt to win the GOP nomination. Back then, he had his share of contacts with reporters on the so-called "Straight Talk Express" that had the journalists falling all over each other portraying a "different" kind of candidate.