Michael Cooper Mocks McCain in Three Stories

What has John McCain ever done to reporter Michael Cooper? The reporter's disdain is written all over Wednesday's edition of the Times.

Cooper's "No. 1 Faux Pas In Washington? Candor, Perhaps," was a long critical interpretation of McCain adviser's Charlie Black quote from Fortune magazine that another terror attack would "be a big advantage" for McCain in the fall. Cooper stumbled out of the starting gate by blowing Kinsley's definition of a gaffe:

It was the journalist Michael Kinsley who changed Washington's understanding of gaffes with his observation that a gaffe occurs not when someone lies, but when they say what they really think.

Kinsley's actual definition of a gaffe "is when a politician tells the truth."

On the same page Wednesday was a story cowritten by Cooper and Michael Powell, "Obama and McCain Joust Over Oil Drilling." The online headline more accurately sums upthe tone: "Obama Assails Remarks by McCain on Offshore Oil Drilling." Indeed, Cooper and Powell spend the breadth of the story setting up McCain as a punching bag for Obama's mockery ofthe Republican's oildrilling proposal.

Senator Barack Obama took a poke at his Republican opponent on Tuesday, saying that for Senator John McCain to talk of a "psychological benefit" from expanded offshore drilling is to define that policy as a gimmick.

Mr. Obama was responding to remarks that Mr. McCain made on Monday in Fresno, Calif., when he observed that even though the nation might take years to benefit from offshore drilling, "exploiting those reserves would have psychological impact that I think is beneficial."

Mr. Obama seized on those comments while speaking at a town hall-style meeting here.

"'Psychological impact'?" Mr. Obama said. "In case you're wondering, that's Washington-speak for 'It polls well.'"

He added, "It's an example of how Washington politicians try to convince you that they did something to make your life better when they really didn't."

When McCain is given a paragraph to respond to the insults at the end, the Times portrays him as petulant:

[Obama] also poked fun at Mr. McCain's proposals, specifically his suggestion to establish a $300 million prize for the scientist who could come up with a long-lasting car battery. "When John F. Kennedy decided that we were going to put a man on the Moon, he didn't put a bounty out for some rocket scientist to win," he said. "He put the full resources of the United States government behind the project."

Mr. McCain lashed back at Mr. Obama when speaking in Riverside.

"On this energy issue, yeah, it's easy to say 'no' to everything," Mr. McCain said. "That's what Senator Obama is doing. We've got to come forward with bold proposals, innovative ones, and ones that will bring this nation to energy independence for national security reasons as well as others."

Some "lash."

Cooper popped up once again with a brief "Caucus" item on McCain "On to Where There Are No Votes," mocking McCain for a mistake he made months ago on an overseas trip.

Since he became the all-but-certain Republican nominee this year, Senator John McCain has traveled to Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Britain and France (on the taxpayer's dime) and to Canada (on his campaign's). Next week, Mr. McCain will travel to two more places without Electoral College votes: Colombia and Mexico....Mr. McCain's campaign has used the overseas trips to try to highlight his foreign policy experience - a tactic that backfired during his trip this year to Jordan, when he confused which Iraqi extremists were being taken to Iran for training.