Joe Conason describes the two different standards that are applied to Democrats and media darling John McCain here. (Subscription or day pass may be required). Excerpts:
Why otherwise would the campaign press corps have demanded the Clinton tax returns while nobody insists that McCain release the returns filed by him and his beer heiress wife, Cindy? When the Arizona Republican releases his 2007 return, as he has done today, will anyone urge him to cough up returns from previous years, as the Clintons did? It is an act of transparency that he has neglected to fulfill for the past quarter-century of his public service, without a peep from his press fans (despite the precedent of his wife's highly questionable shopping-mall investment with savings and loan crook Charles Keating).
And having raked Bill Clinton's charitable foundation for evidence of conflicts of interest, when will the press corps take another look at McCain’s "Reform Institute," the nonprofit think tank that has served as a soft-money conduit and cushy sinecure for his political advisors?
Will anyone ask McCain why he doesn't wear an American flag pin, the burning question that the ABC anchors pressed on Obama? Perhaps the former POW deserves a pass on that issue, but it is interesting to note that photos of McCain with a flag pin are very scarce -- which may simply prove that not every patriot must constantly sport Old Glory on his lapel.
It would be refreshing to place the likes of Gibson and Stephanopoulos and their peers on the witness stand for a change to explain their choices and prejudices. Why did they require Democrats to make tax-cutting pledges that are based on bad economics and worse journalism? Why should they focus on Obama's tenuous connection with a reprehensible but inconsequential figure like former Weatherman Bill Ayers, when they have never mentioned the White House coddling of Cuban exile terrorists? Why do they obsess over the "bitter" gaffe by Obama while passing so lightly over the confusion of Sunni and Shia groups by McCain, supposed master of foreign policy?
Why? Because the vast majority of our elite media corps is violently hostile to Democrats and all snuggly-wuggly with conservative Republicans. Again, we have to call them on this, and repeat, again and again:
"The Liberal Media label is a right-wing myth--and a damned lie."