You can tell Campaign ’08 is well under way now, given the vicious attacks on MoveOn for daring to question the political independence of General Petraeus.
As coordinated and vengeful as the broadsides are, however, what is even more disturbing is the willing role played by the media to provide validation and exposure. Take this report last evening at The Caucus, for example. Previewing the controversy surrounding Bush’s non-speech on Iraq, the NYT blog juxtaposed, in equal significance, John Boehner’s statement that the war was “a small price to pay” (whether that implied lives lost and injured, as many on the left claimed, or simply dollars) and the false-loyalty test the right was trying to force on Democratic candidates relative to their “stance” on the Move-On ad.
Meanwhile, the screen shot above provides an interesting counterpoint to remarks made yesterday by chairman of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, Tom Cole. Mr. Cole attacked the NYT for supposedly offering the non-profit MoveOn a preferential price for the full page ad.
Said Cole, as quoted in the NYT:
The New York Times is free to run any ad it chooses at any price, though there is good reason to believe that giving MoveOn.org’s Political Action Committee preferential pricing may violate F.E.C. regulations. It is fair to ask whether organizations espousing a pro-administration or conservative point of view have ever been offered comparable discounts. Certainly no reputable electronic media outlet would charge candidates, political parties or advocacy groups different rates for the same commercial time.
Gee, Tom. Given the role FOX News plays as the Administration’s broadcast arm, and here, the absolutely free mouthpiece for the MoveOn backlash, it seems a surprise that the progressive organization (which reported paying $65,000 for the ad) would have been charged anything at all.
Re: the image more specifically, it seems we owe a debt of gratitude to Jon Stewart (building on the work of SNL News, and many others) for ultimately severing the old reflexive visual association that a guy sitting behind a news desk on national TV somehow deserves any form of consideration or deference, or conveys even a shred objectivity.
… Meanwhile, given all the fat but so little meat served up last week, isn’t Francisco Franco still dead?
(image: Kevin Wolf/AP. September 10, 2007. Washington. via YahooNews. Caption: Brit Hume, right, talks with Gen. David Petraeus about a Moveon.org ad during an interview on FOX News on Monday)