The Charlotte Observer reports on a new VoteVets ad:
Meanwhile, a veterans' group is spending $200,000 on TV ads saying [NC Sen. Elizabeth] Dole voted against body armor for troops.
The ad by VoteVets.org features a man identified as an Iraq war veteran firing shots from an AK-47 through a flak jacket given out early in the war. He also fires into more modern body armor, which stops the shots. It claims Dole twice voted against the more modern armor.
The ad appears to be the same one used in 2006 in a Virginia Senate race. According to the watchdog site FactCheck.org, the votes came on a 2003 amendment that would have appropriated just over $1 billion for unspecified "National Guard and Reserve Equipment" but made no mention of body armor. The amendment lost on a generally party-line vote.
The group called the ad false.
Here's the short version:
But as Media Matters for America noted in response to FactCheck's September 20 analysis, [FactCheck.org director Brooks] Jackson's assertion that "[t]here has never been a vote on body armour" is false. Allen opposed an October 2003 amendment offered by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), which would have provided additional funding explicitly for body armor. Moreover, Landrieu repeatedly stated on the House floor that the bill would ensure that National Guard soldiers had "helmets" and other "force protection" equipment intended to "minimize causalities." And in a March 26, 2003, press release, Landrieu further explained that the bill "targets shortfalls identified by the National Guard and Reserve in their Unfunded Requirement lists," including the "shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests."
CBC's Dean Reynolds filed a lengthy piece online comparing and contrasting what it was like to cover the Obama and McCain campaigns from a journalist's perspective; which team was more informed and made life easier on the road for reporters.
According to Reynolds, it's no contest. He much preferred the way the McCain camp ("helpful" and "friendly") treated the press, how it printed up schedules well in advance and how it was flexible in terms of accommodating deadline needs. By contrast, Dean complies a long list of complaints about Team Obama, including the fact the press' chartered press plane smelled bad.
That's Reynolds' opinion and, since he's the one schlepping around the campaign trail, he's entitled to it. But the essay does end on a rather ominous note, and seems to indicate that angry journalists like Reynolds are already plotting their revenge against Obama if he wins the election.
How else could you read this closing [emphasis added]:
Maybe none of this means much. Maybe a front-running campaign like Obama's that is focused solely on victory doesn't have the time to do the mundane things like print up schedules or attend to the needs of reporters. But in politics, everything that goes around comes around.
That's how Ben Smith describes the most recent instance of a Republican speaker at a McCain event invoking Barack Obama's middle name.
How many times do speakers at McCain events have to invoke Obama's middle name before reporters stop stipulating that McCain doesn't want it to happen?
Okay, this is getting confusing.
Last Friday we noted the hypocrisy of the Times' David Brooks, the East Coast media elite intellectual, cheering Palin's debate performance and her anti-intellectual approach; cheering the way Palin's "accent, her colloquialisms and her constant invocations of the accoutrements of everyday" likely connected with "casual parts of the country."
That struck us as rather embarrassing narrative for Brooks of all people to embrace. And guess what? Apparently so did Brooks. Because on Monday during an interview, he did a complete about-face and announced that Palin and her anti-intellectual approach represents a "a fatal cancer to the Republican party." And that she was no way qualified to be VP.
So to recap: On Friday, Palin was the star of the GOP. On Monday she represented a cancer.
At least Brooks now has the bases covered.
MoDo's the latest to claim that McCain's just not the same any more; that h's not the same guy the press used to love. That angle was pressed in New York magazine this week, too. The notion that McCain's has lost all his pundit pals because he's reinvented himself as a dishonest pol.
True enough, we suppose. But we can't help thinking that Daily Howler might actually be closer to the truth by suggesting that the honor-driven McCain maverick the pundits once toasted never really existed, so the sorrowful obits to him now being printed up ring a bit hollow.
But we agree with Jane Kim that Fey's impersonation of Sarah Palin, while wildly entertaining, does not qualify as news and the cablers should really stop treating the skits as news. Kim writes:
The ostensible newsworthiness of this very effective parody is a press creation born of repeated juxtaposition—and a distracting one, considering we've entered the four-week countdown.
And good grief, why, as Jamo noted last night, are news reporters bothering Palin with Fey questions during their very rare change to ask the candidate questions?
Sadly, the facination seems to springs from the media's desire to turn campaigns completely into entertainment.
Yep, according to the Time scribe, who wrote a book genuflecting before Drudge's mighty power, the "Internetist" is among "the five most important people in American politics right now--who aren't running for president."
Halperin offers no further details, but based on his past writings we can assume Halperin thinks that Drudge's web site boasts the power and influence to change the landscape of the White House campaign in the closing weeks. Halperin's been touting that line for years now.
But think about this: According to the polls, the current campaign has taken a relatively dramatic shift in recent weeks with Barack Obama now enjoying his biggest lead to date. In fact, it represents biggest lead any candidate has posted this late in a presidential campaign since 1996.
The question is, what role has The Drudge Report played in that dramatic shift over the last three weeks? Our answer: None. Zero. Nada. Irrelevent.
But Halperin still thinks Drudge holds the key to the election.