As the relationship has deteriorated, McCain has stopped hosting his once-famous ``straight talk'' get-togethers on his campaign plane. He also has abandoned regular press conferences. Instead, he stops occasionally to read short written statements in front of cameras, like he did Aug. 31 in Jackson, Mississippi; then walks away from questions shouted by reporters.
Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The longtime love affair between John McCain and what he once called his ``base'' -- the national news media -- is on the rocks.
McCain's campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, yesterday lashed out at what he deemed ``offensive'' and ``demeaning'' coverage and questions from reporters after McCain's running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, confirmed her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.
``It used to be that a lot of those smears and the crap on the Internet stayed out of the newsrooms of serious journalists,'' Schmidt said at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Schmidt's criticism is the latest example in the unraveling of what was once a fond relationship between the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and the media. Starting in the 2000 Republican primaries, the Arizona senator became a media sensation by chatting up the press in the back of his ``Straight Talk Express'' campaign bus. The national press corps freely mingled with McCain for hours on the bus, with no topic off limits.
More recently, though, McCain, 72, has accused news organizations such as the New York Times, Time magazine and the NBC network of being unfair to him. The campaign even considered pulling out of one of the three presidential debates because it would be moderated by Tom Brokaw, a former NBC News anchorman.