McCain Saves Wall St.; AP Has the Photos to Prove It

Today’s Associated Press coverage gives me the funny feeling that McCain had something to do with passing the Wall St. rescue package:

On the basis of that first headline and photo, who gets credit for the rescue package? Leaving aside that Obama’s the sixth headline, and that he’s inclined to support something that’s apparently different (something far less glamorous known as a “bailout”), or that he was also in Washington the same time as McCain, I clicked on the full AP story to make sure it wasn’t an accident.

Look, there he is again, rushing in to save us! I clicked on the photo, which leads to a slide show about the stock markets. In the slide show, McCain appears four times (once with Palin), in situations unrelated to the bailout itself. But that doesn’t keep the AP from, shall we say, associating the two. For example, this is one of AP’s photo captions:

Republican presidential nominee Arizona Senator John McCain, seen here on September 24, 2008, in New York City, said Thursday his “old navy pilot” instincts told him he must suspend his White House bid, hours before flying to Washington for unprecedented talks on the Wall Street bailout plan.

Did I mention that Obama was in Washington too? (And … “old navy pilot” instincts? WTF does that have to do with running a country?) Here’s another AP caption:

Republican presidential nominee Arizona Senator John McCain addresses the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. US lawmakers said Thursday they had agreed on the fundamentals of a multi-billion dollar historic deal to rescue Wall Street and shore up the world’s biggest economy.

What does the Clinton Global Initiative have to do with the stock markets? Nothing. The CGI was a big celebrity pow-wow, which occurred after McCain had allegedly suspended his campaign so he could solve all our problems. Say what you will, but if you suspend your campaign, you don’t go around campaigning. (David Letterman hammered him for this, and rightly so.)

Frank Rich has a great recap in the New York Times of Mr. McCain’s Wild Ride this week, pointing to a few other factors that might have caused McCain to suspend his campaign:

  • “[T]he day after his former idol Alan Greenspan pronounced the current crisis a “once-in-a-century” catastrophe …  McCain reaffirmed for the umpteenth time that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong”
  • Or that Obama was ahead by nine percentage points in the polls
  • Or that Sarah Palin had taped an interview with CBS News where she sounded like a beauty pageant contestant who hadn’t quite grasped the politics question
  • Or that McCain’s campaign manager had been taking in $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac

So let’s recap the recap: McCain is down in the polls, made a dumb pick for VP, his campaign manager has serious conflict-of-interest problems, and McCain doesn’t get the economy, even after Greenspan explains it. So he makes a desperate effort to upstage all of these problems by suspending his campaign, and doing what most called political grandstanding.

Despite all this, the Associated Press has no problem putting McCain’s photo next to the rescue package success story.

Look for the AP/Fox News merger any day now.