In an April 21 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham repeats a claim that a Washington Post story about "John McCain’s 'volcanic' outbursts of anger" is "99 percent fictional." And just who made this claim? Mark Salter, longtime McCain staffer who is, as Salon.com once claimed, the voice of John McCain.
Graham offers no independent evidence to back up Salter's claim, just merely repeats what he says, then adds ominously: "This severe a charge will need to be answered by the Post." Graham also offers no reason to take a paid flack at face value; after all, Graham would never do the same for an aide to a Democratic presidential candidate.
Graham also fails to mention that, as we've noted, his fellow conservatives -- chief among them Newsmax's Ronald Kessler -- were among those pushing the McCain-is-too-angry-to-be-president story during the Republican primary season earlier this year, which makes it difficult to hang that particular meme around the neck of the so-called liberal media. Will Salter and Graham attack Kessler's veracity as aggressively as they have attacked the Post, even though they wrote about the exact same subject? Will Graham insist that Newsmax "need[s] to respond" to the suggestion that its reporting is "99 percent fictional"? After all, since it appears that Salter is denying the truth of all incidents of McCain anger, it stands to reason that Kessler must be as much of a liar as Salter claims the Post is.
Will Graham hold Newsmax and the conservative media who have reported on McCain's anger to the same standard he's holding the Post? As fellow NewsBuster Noel Sheppard might say, it's a mathematical impossibilty.