John McCain admits he hasn’t yet.

He said, ruefully, that he had not mastered how to use
the Internet and relied on his wife and aides like Mark Salter, a
senior adviser, and Brooke Buchanan, his press secretary, to get him
online to read newspapers (though he prefers reading those the
old-fashioned way) and political Web sites and blogs.

“They go on for me,” he said. “I am learning to get online myself,
and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t
expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own
blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get
the information that I need.”

The Times ought to be happy for the plug here for reading newspapers
“the old-fashioned way”, because they are as endangered as other
broadsheet old timers for extinction as instant communications
technology explodes. Most of the old-fashioned news outlets – whether
print or broadcast – have now added blogs and podcasts to stay somehwat
competitive. The Times survives in print because of readers like
McCain, actually. Though he may not be one of their regulars…

Asked which blogs he read, he said: “Brooke and Mark
show me Drudge, obviously. Everybody watches, for better or for worse,
Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics.”

At that point, Mrs. McCain, who had been intensely engaged with her
BlackBerry, looked up and chastised her husband. “Meghan’s blog!” she
said, reminding him of their daughter’s blog on his campaign Web site.
“Meghan’s blog,” he said sheepishly.

As he answered questions, sipping a cup of coffee with his tie tight
around his neck, his aides stared down at their BlackBerries.

As they tapped, Mr. McCain said he did not use a BlackBerry, though
he regularly reads messages on those of his aides. “I don’t e-mail,
I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail,” Mr. McCain said.

Ok. That’s unimaginable. And disarmingly honest.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....