Thursday, September 04, 2008

The gloves are off 
Howie Kurtz, whom I have a good deal of respect for, relates his interview with a McCain senior official about the press coverage over the last week - and he is spitting mad.

Sen. John McCain's top campaign strategist accused the news media Tuesday of being "on a mission to destroy" Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by displaying "a level of viciousness and scurrilousness" in pursuing questions about her personal life.

In an extraordinary and emotional interview, Steve Schmidt said his campaign feels "under siege" by wave after wave of news inquiries that have questioned whether Palin is really the mother of a 4-month-old baby, whether her amniotic fluid had been tested and whether she would submit to a DNA test to establish the child's parentage.

Arguing that the media queries are being fueled by "every rumor and smear" posted on left-wing Web sites, Schmidt said mainstream journalists are giving "closer scrutiny" to McCain's little-known running mate than to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

The McCain camp has been unusually aggressive in pushing back against the media, and it seems to hope to persuade journalists to back off in their scrutiny of Palin. Obama campaign officials have complained to news organizations that their man has been subjected to considerably more investigative reporting than McCain has, but they have done so in more low-key fashion.

By contrast, Schmidt spoke on the record in denouncing as "an absolute work of fiction" a New York Times account of the process by which the McCain campaign vetted Palin. He also charged that Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman was predicting that the governor might have to step down as McCain's vice presidential choice.

Just to be clear, the New York Times is looking pretty idiotic after the whole "Palin was a member of a secessionist party" and "Palin was a Buchananite" memes.

But that's nothing new to readers of this blog.

Let me zero the sights a little more precisely on New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller. Bumiller reported that Palin was a member of the American Independence Party for two years.

Bumiller told Kurtz that she's "completely confident" in her story. (Quoted on page 2 on the online version)

Yeah, those "unimpeachable sources" are a bitch, eh, Bumiller?

That's what happens, though, when you rely on DailyKos for your story ideas.

Splash, out


P.S., Kurtz himself blows it here:

Bloggers on the left and right increasingly drive media coverage by turning up the volume on questions until they are difficult to ignore. Sometimes they are right, as when they questioned what CBS's Dan Rather said were National Guard documents in a 2004 report on President Bush's military service that led to Rather's ouster as the network's anchor. And sometimes they are wrong. Last year, the New Republic retracted a soldier's dispatch on petty wartime cruelty in Iraq, and National Review Online acknowledged that two blog postings by a former Marine about military movements in Lebanon were misleading.

No, Kurtz...you're filling sandbags for your buddies over at the New Republic. The bloggers were RIGHT on that one. Beauchamp's articles were not blogs, and Beauchamp was not a blogger. Beauchamp's serial fabrications were feature articles, vetted by the editorial staff of the New Republic. (It helps to be fucking your fact checkers).

It was the BLOGGERS who kept that story alive, despite every attempt and stonewalling, delay and deception by the New Republic in their biggest embarrassment since Stephen Glass.

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Found you through your comment on McArdle's post over at the Atlantic (great comment, by the way).

Great blog; it's genius, by the way, posting that Howard Dean quote up top.

Keep up the good work.
"The gloves are off" is a great way to scare Gov. Palin? What could they do pray tell? Are they going to follow around her son's unit in Iraq and discuss the relative vulnerabilities/shifts when Track will be on? Frankly, after the Goebels goon-squad treatment their surrogates gave Gov. Palin, this will certainly appear to be an empty threat.
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