McCain Repudiates Bill Cunningham
Gee, why am I not surprised about this: John McCain comes to town today, and people are talking about WLW-AM's Bill Cunningham, not McCain's policies and promises. Cunningham is telling listeners that ABC News, Associated Press, the New York Times and other national media outlets want to interview him about his remarks warming up the crowd before McCain's Memorial Hall rally this morning.
Cunningham told listeners today that he was asked Monday to warm up the crowd today. On stage, Cunningham repeatedly referrred to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama by his middle name, Hussein. He also said Obama was part of the Richard Daley's Chicago Democratic machine, and a political hack. He said he didn't meet McCain, because he left before McCain arrived.
After the event, McCain said: "I take responsibility and I repudiate what I said... I will not tolerate anything in this campaign that denigrates either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton."
Cunningham has been calling Obama "Hussein" for a long time. Back on Jan. 10, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann called Cunningham one of the "worst persons in the world" for referring to Obama as Hussein on his Sunday night nationally syndicated show.
Cunningham has relished the attention today. He'll relish it tonight on the TV news/talk shows, even if some paint him as a clown. On the air today, he's in Willie mode, which means we can't really tell if he's telling the truth when the convservative Republican says on the air: "I've had it with McCain. I'm going to throw my support to Hillary Rodham Clinton." Or when he says that program director Darryl Parks has banned him from the airwaves Wednesday. (He wasn't scheduled to be on Wednesday because of the Reds spring training opening game.)
Let's face it: WLW talk hosts -- especially Cunningham -- are masters of making themselves the center of attention. They seemingly can take any situation and make it All About WLW. McCain learned the hard way today about Cunningham's on-air schtick. I bet Willie won't be invited to any more McCain events.