The Press Corps’ Disturbingly Battered Spouse Syndrome Like Symptoms

Libby over at the Newshoggers points out an interesting little anecdote from the McCain campaign trail.  But where she finds cause for hope and humor, I remain deeply disturbed.

Whilst out on the trail, apparently the press detail assigned to McCain had taken to chanting, “Bring Mack Back!  Bring Mack Back!”  No doubt a reference to the one-time Maverick the press corps knew and loved.  On the surface, it would appear to be yet another example of the growing rift between McCain and the media that once adored him.

To me, I don’t see a disgruntled press corps ready to apply the level of scrutiny that McCain deserves, but instead, I see sufferers of battered spouse syndrome, which gets even worse when put in the context of the recent vocal condemnations such as Joe Klein’s insistance that he would not accept John McCain’s apology should he offer one.

We’ve heard this all before.  Wife or husband gets knocked around by spouse, finally the battered spouse has enough, packs up, moves out, and swears with full conviction that he/she won’t take her/him back.  No apologies will be accepted, and a restraining order may be in the works.

And then the guilty party comes crawling backon his or her knees promising the world and the moon, “Oh, baby, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to… I got problems, I know, and I promise I’ll have them looked at… See… I’ve quit drinking!  I’ve been sober for a whole week now, and I’m going to see a therapist.  I promise baby, I’ll never ever ever lay another hand on you ever again.”

You know what happens next; the battered spouse takes the guilty spouse back in, and things are great for a little while until the abuser hauls back and gives the battered spouse a black eye to go with his or her broken ribs.

In other words, after all the hot air coming from the press that the love affair is finally over, I just don’t trust it.  I don’t think it would take much more than a wink and a nod from John McCain to get most of these wayward journalists back on his side again.

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