ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: With Sen. Barack Obama receiving wide coverage for his foreign trip, Sen. John McCain’s campaign is dialing up its criticism of the news media, with a Web video and an online contest mocking the mainstream press for what the campaign describes as Obama-tilted coverage.
The Web video splices together clips of several journalists — notably MSNBC’s Chris Matthews — offering glowing praise of Obama on the air. It also features Clinton supporters Terry McAuliffe and Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., in clips where they say members of the mainstream media are enamored with Obama, D-Ill.
"I felt this thrill going up my leg," Matthews says in one clip. "He’s sort of a gift from the world to us in so many ways," he says in another.
Those clips — and most of those used in the video — come not from the general election, but from Obama’s Democratic primary battle with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
The online contest jokingly invites users to vote for their favorite love song to serve as a soundtrack for the media’s “devotion” to Obama.
The critique of the news media is particularly striking coming from McCain, R-Ariz., who has long enjoyed a cozy relationship with journalists. In 2000 and 2008, his Republican rivals accused members of the media of being too close to McCain, and McCain once jokingly referred to the political press corps as "my base."
But the McCain campaign has grown frustrated with media coverage in the general election, particularly during his foreign trip. All three network evening news anchors are scheduled to interview Obama while he’s abroad; some observers have noted that none of them made the trip with McCain when he visited Iraq in March.
In addition, the McCain campaign on Monday expressed anger with The New York Times for rejecting an op-ed submission from the senator, a week after the newspaper published an opinion piece authored by Obama.