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11.16 Canada's most shameful environmental secret must not remain hidden

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11.15 Interior Department Scrubs Climate Change From Its Strategic Plan [this Administration has been perfectly wrong about everything]

11.15 Controversial Ruling Says Organic Crops Don’t Have to Grow in Soil

11.15 The Largest Coal-Fired Power Plant in the West Is Slated for Closure

11.15 Protests as Trump promotes Coal at Climate Summit in Berlin

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11.15 Growing number of global insurance firms divesting from fossil fuels

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11.18 The Paradise Papers: How Ridiculously Easy It Is For The Rich To Avoid Taxes [birds of a feather flock together]

11.17 'Time to Raise Hell': Internet Defenders Mobilize as FCC Aims to Kill Net Neutrality Within Month [decreasing regulation will increase monopoly power of large Cable and Telecom broadband providers enabling distortions of Internet content benefiting the higher bidder]

11.17 'Say Goodbye to Local Media,' as Trump FCC Opens Corporate Merger Floodgates [decreasing regulation will increase monopoly power of large News and Entertainment providers enabling distortions of media content benefiting the higher bidder]

11.16 DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE COMPANY PAID MERCENARIES TO BUILD CONSPIRACY LAWSUIT AGAINST ENVIRONMENTALISTS

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11.19 Trump Voters Celebrate Massive Tax Cut for Everyone But Them

11.19 Under GOP Plan, Wealthy Foreign Investors Benefit Nearly Three Times More Than US Taxpayers

11.18 The Shocking Math of the Republican Tax Plan

11.16 Kochs key among small group quietly funding legal assault on campaign finance regulation

11.16 Trump sons' hunting in focus as US lifts import ban on African elephant trophies

11.16 We Knew Julian Assange Hated Clinton. We Didn’t Know He Was Secretly Advising Trump.

11.16 A Note From Bill on ‘No Choice’

11.15 House Approves $700B 'Cash Cow for Weapons Companies'—But Single Payer 'Too Expensive'

11.15 Roy Moore challenged Alabama law that protects rape victims, documents reveal [Hideous is as hideous does...]

11.15 'Disgusting': Senate Republicans' Tax Plan Will Scrap Obamacare Mandate [tax-cuts for the super-rich are more important than the health and lives of 13 million poor people]

11.15 GOP Tax Bill Would Trigger $25 Billion in Cuts to Medicare, Warns CBO

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11.19 The Design Flaw at the Core of Humanity's Malaise

11.18 'All Out Class War': GOP Bill Cuts Taxes for Private Jet Owners, Hikes Taxes on Students

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11.16 World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund proposes ditching oil and gas holdings

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11.19 End all immigration controls – they’re a sign we value money more than people

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11.18 'These Will Be Weapons of Mass Destruction': Warnings About Killer Robots After UN Talks

11.18 Truck drivers like me will soon be replaced by automation. You're next

11.17 World, horrified at Trump, sends US Ranking Plummeting

11.17 Elon Musk unveils Tesla electric truck – and a surprise new sports car

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11.17 North Korean defector had 27cm parasitic worm in his stomach

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  McCain's 'Cone of Silence' Caper
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FAVORITISM & MISLEADING THE PUBLIC:

McCain's 'Cone of Silence' Caper

by Robert Parry

August 18, 2008—Millions of Americans who watched Barack Obama and then John McCain respond to nearly identical questions from evangelical minister Rick Warren were surely impressed by McCain’s quick and sharp answers. Supposedly he had been in a “cone of silence” while Obama was getting grilled during the preceding hour.

However, as it turned out, TV viewers and other Americans were misled. McCain had not been in any “cone of silence” shielding him from hearing Warren’s questions and Obama’s answers.

On Saturday night as Obama was on stage, McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church and thus would have had access through his staff to the questions and how Obama had answered them.

When McCain came on the set, he played along with the fiction about being in a “cone of silence,” joking that “I was trying to hear through the wall.”

McCain then proceeded to knock the questions out of the proverbial park, impressing not only the audience at Rev. Warren’s Saddleback Church in California, but the political pundits who spent the next two days praising McCain’s performance and judging him the clear winner over Obama.

For instance, New York Times columnist William Kristol declared that it was “McCain’s night” and marveled at how “McCain, who went second, was crisp by contrast [to Obama] and his anecdotes colorful.”

Kristol also mocked grousing from Obama’s aides that McCain may have had access to the questions beforehand. “There’s no evidence that McCain had any such advantage,” Kristol wrote in his Monday column.

However, in the same newspaper, New York Times reporters discovered that the assertion by Warren that McCain had been in some “cone of silence” wasn’t true.

“Members of the McCain campaign staff, who flew here Sunday from California, said Mr. McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church as Mr. Obama was being interviewed,” wrote reporter Katharine Q. Seeyle.

Still, McCain’s staff bristled at suggestions that McCain listened to the broadcast while en route to the church.

“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” said McCain spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace. [NYT, Aug. 18, 2008]

What McCain’s Vietnam War-era POW status had to do with this wasn’t clear. But it was clear that Warren’s assurance that “we have safely placed Senator McCain in a cone of silence” wasn’t true, nor was McCain’s light-hearted remark about trying to hear through the wall.

If McCain did get pre-briefed on what questions to expect, it would be reminiscent of the presidential debate in 1980 when someone from Ronald Reagan’s campaign stole President Jimmy Carter’s debate briefing book and allegedly used it to coach Reagan’s responses.


Robert ParryRobert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on August 19, 2008.

 

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