As Karoli already informed us here, Grampy McCain was so busy grandstanding today in front of the media that he couldn't be bothered to go to the hearing on Benghazi and lashed out at CNN reporter Ted Barrett when asked why he missed that meeting. What killed me about the segment is the deference both Dana Bash and Wolf Blitzer gave to the hot-headed Senator while discussing his tantrum on The Situation Room.
I've got to wonder what it's going to take before they quit treating him as some senior statesman worthy of our respect, instead of the angry, petulant old man who still hasn't gotten over losing the election to Barack Obama? McCain's behavior over the last week has not just been hostile, it's been downright embarrassing.
But here's the nice friendly gloss-over he received from CNN this Thursday:
WOLF BLITZER: Tempers flaring on Capitol Hill. Senator John McCain lashing out at one of our CNN producers who questioned why he was missing a key hearing on the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. McCain has been a sharp critic of the president and his administration, complaining lawmakers are not getting enough information.
And when asked why he missed that meeting today, he lashed out.
Our senior congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, is up on Capitol Hill. She's got more on this sensitive story.
Dana, what happened?
DANA BASH: Well, it turns out, Wolf, that CNN learned that most of the Republicans on this key committee that had a briefing on what happened in Benghazi did not go. In fact, it was three out of the eight Republicans on that committee.
One of those Republicans who did not go to that briefing, it was a classified briefing, was John McCain. Now, McCain at the time was having a press conference yesterday lashing out at the administration for not getting enough information and calling for a select committee to investigate it all. Well, our Ted Barrett caught up with the senator earlier today and wanted to know why he didn't go to that briefing. And to say the least, it did not go well. Listen to what happened.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TED BARRETT: Why can't you comment about that?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment. And who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BASH: So John McCain would not comment, would not give an answer to Ted who was trying to do his job, trying to find out just why Senator McCain didn't go to that briefing.
And Senator McCain went onto say he thought Ted was badgering him and not being respectful, which you know Ted Barrett, he is respectful. I will tell you though that later in the day Senator McCain's spokesman contacted us saying that the reason he didn't attend that classified briefing was because of a scheduling error.
I should also tell you that Senator McCain has been inside the briefing that's going on right now. You probably see this podium behind me. That's because we're waiting for the Senate Intelligence chairwoman and ranking to come out of a classified briefing. And again Senator McCain is at this briefing at this hour.
BLITZER: Why couldn't he have just said that to begin with, told Ted Barrett, I had a scheduling problem, a scheduling error, if you will, and I screwed up? That would have ended the controversy.
BASH: That's a great question, Wolf. It's what Ted and I were talking about the minute he told me about this exchange. Why didn't he just say that? He certainly has answers for many of us in the hallways a lot. In fact, he just walked out temporarily of this meeting that's going on right now.
And other reporters were asking why he wasn't at that classified briefing yesterday. And that's what he said. I had a scheduling error. So tempers are flaring here. I think that exchange with Ted Barrett is probably a good example of how heated this issue has gotten, a lot of people, particularly, as we have seen over the past couple days, Senator McCain.
BLITZER: Yes. We all screw up from time to time. People make mistakes and then we move on.
Oh yes, let's just move on shall we? Anyone think they would be "moving on" if a Democrat were acting this unhinged?