10/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

McCain's Childish Act Is Enough To Outsmart Media

Better late than never.

The American media have been slow to expose John McCain's devious campaign tactics, and some of his outright lies, but at least they've finally started to do that.

For some reason, though, they allow McCain to get away with his attempts to justify the nasty "tenor" of his campaign.

When pressed about some of the utter falsehoods he has thrown at Barack Obama, such as the lipstick and child sex-ed accusations, John McCain has tended to go on the offense.

He did that when the women on ABC's The View became the first to do what the rest of the corporate media had lacked the cojones to do, confront the candidate over his lies.

McCain responded with the following:

"This is a tough campaign. I have asked Senator Obama to join me in town hall meetings all across America. I have requested it time after time. And if we had done what I asked Senator Obama to do...I don't think you'd see the tenor of this campaign."

McCain said the same thing on MSNBC, during his whirlwind and slightly panicky tour of the morning shows on Tuesday.

"If you would urge him to come and do town hall meetings with me as I've asked him to do, time after time, the whole tenor of the campaign would change."

Consider, for a moment, what the candidate is saying.

He refuses to admit that he is lying about Obama, but then subtly suggests that he would stop lying, if only his troublesome opponent would agree to McCain's Town Hall Tour of America.

Like it's all Obama's fault.

It's a quite outrageous thing for a candidate to say. But on both The View and MSNBC, the interviewers just kind of...let that go. The way the corporate media do far too often, when a follow-up question is just sitting there, begging to be asked. Instead, they were bamboozled.

Now, this particular McCain tactic would be ugly, but not so surprising perhaps, if Obama was running and hiding from him, and refusing to debate.

But Barack Obama has agreed to debate John McCain three times. That's the same number of debates John Kerry had with George W. Bush, and Bush had with Al Gore. It's one more debate that Bill Clinton had with Bob Dole.

You can look it up. Or just go to Wikipedia, which is what I did.

Since the first Kennedy-Nixon debates in 1960, there have been an average of two debates per presidential election. Barack Obama has agreed to three. He's following convention.

On the other hand, John McCain's call for/insistence on a series of town hall meetings is not just unconventional. It's unprecedented.

And because Obama hasn't agreed to McCain's unprecedented proposal, McCain is telling us Obama deserves what he's getting.

John McCain's argument isn't just nonsensical. It's childish. It's petulant. It feels like bullying. And it tells you something about the way he thinks.

The good news is, the corporate media are finally starting to see through the McCain straight talk mythology. They're finally starting to ask him some tough questions.

Now, if we could just get them to ask the right follow-up question, when the situation demands it...