Reader JL provides some of the backstory to the McCain/Iseman/Paxson affair:
At about the same time that McCain was denouncing Robertson and Falwell as ‘agents of intolerance’ he appears to have been helping out Paxson, a less famous but no less active member of the dominionist movement within the evangelical Christian right.
Paxson Communications is now known as Ion Television. They have long promoted themselves as a family friendly alternative in TV programming. They have never been particularly successful in terms of profits.
Paxson hails from Clearwater Florida, Alcalde has strong Tampa ties. McCain knew he would need big support in Florida if he were to be competitive in 2000. And he already knew he wasn’t going to get it from the third leg of the Florida Gulf Coast Right Wing Influence triad, Sembler, who had long been in the Bush camp.
So it made political sense for McCain to want to help out Paxson and keep Alcalde happy with him.
Next month in a moment of supreme irony, Ion will be adding ‘Baywatch’ (starring that paragon of morality Pamela Anderson) to their lineup.