Gotacha Journalism

McCain seems to be pushing the phrase “gotcha journalism” to fight against journalists these days. Both McCain and Palin used the phrase several times in a recent interview with Katie Couric. “I understand this day and age of ‘gotcha’ journalism,” McCain says.

It makes me wonder, if McCain was honest would he have to worry about “gotcha journalism?” I know people can misspeak and are sometimes mis-characterized, but those moments are usually acknowledged by the broader media and the population in general.

It seems unfair to dismiss criticism with a catchy phrase. It seems doubly disingenuous when it is done by a person who has run the kind of campaign that McCain has. A look at the PolitiFact website, a website dedicated to getting to the truth of things said by both sides of the campaign, shows that McCain has been startlingly dishonest. Further, he should stop trying to create gotcha moments himself. If McCain doesn’t like gotcha journalism then he only has to stop feeding it so regularly. There will always be people looking to point out small contradictions, but those kinds of petty folks are largely ignored. However, when people have valid questions about false statements or large contradictions McCain must answer with more than just a catchphrase.

My advice is that if McCain doesn’t like “gotcha journalism” he should run an honest campaign that doesn’t contradict itself in serious ways.