On Thursday, the cabler started running the controversial spot that CNN had rejected and Fox News personalities had criticized. Late Friday, MSNBC reversed course and announced the ad, produced by independent liberal groups, would no longer run.
Here's MSNBC's Chris Matthews, moments ago, suggesting Barack Obama is "elite" in part because Obama was wearing sunglasses:
Can Barack Obama, a man of elite education if not elite background, break into the middle class and talk regular? Can he talk to regular people in their kitchens tonight, in their living rooms?
Everybody thinks Barack is too cool. In other words, there he is with the shades, getting on the plane. A little bit too elegant, a little bit too proud of his own bearing. Is that a problem, that he's just too cool for words. In other words, elite.
And here's MSNBC's Chris Matthews, sitting beside the pool outside his Nantucket vacation home, wearing sunglasses:
She reported from Congress tonight and summed up the status of the bailout negotiations, which hit a major snag on Thursday but seem to be progressing more smoothly now.
Yellin concluded her update by saying: "The attitude here is nobody can really explain what went wrong yesterday but now they're back on track." [Emphasis added.]
Hmm, what was different about Thursday and Friday in Washington? Who made a surprise appearance Thursday when the bailout talks fell apart but left Washington today? Hmmm.
Earlier today, Marc Ambinder described an Obama campaign memo this way: "If it's 2pm the day of the debate, it must be an expectations-lowering memo."
Just a few hours later, he engaged in some expectations-lowering of his own -- on behalf of John McCain.
McCain has spent a lot less time preparing for this debate than Obama owing to McCain's decision to suspend his campaign and return to Washington.
We'll probably see a lot of assertions like this, but how do reporters know it is true? McCain didn't actually return to Washington until yesterday afternoon -- and he was at home by 6 pm. Besides which, he can do debate prep from anywhere. So how does Marc Ambinder -- or anyone else -- know how much time the candidates spent preparing for the debate? Particularly with enough certainty to announce that one has spent "a lot less time" than the other?
Also: John McCain didn't suspend his campaign. Anyone who says he did isn't telling the truth.
And Marc Ambinder knows McCain didn't suspend his campaign. Here's what Ambinder wrote yesterday: "The campaign is 'suspended,' although we know it's a partial suspension of some activities designed to look like a full-scale suspension."
So, in a single sentance, Ambinder wrote something he knows isn't true, and something he cannot know is true -- both of which help McCain.
A new Associated Press article about seven top aides to Sarah Palin defying a subpoena in the Alaska Troopergate probe notes that the state Senate Judiciary chairman who threatened to hold the aides in contempt is a Democrat.
Then, in the next paragraph, the article noted that the state's Attorney General "filed a lawsuit on behalf of the seven state workers Thursday challenging the subpoenas. He claims the committee has no jurisdiction to issue subpoenas in the investigation."
But nowhere does the article tell readers that the Attorney General is a Republican ... a Republican who was appointed by Sarah Palin.
Michael Calderone at Politico flags the wire service for trying to suggest Biden recently kept journalists at bay just like Palin has.
And yikes, even Fox News claims AP got the Biden/press story wrong.
Meanwhile, Greg Pollowitz needs to update his National Review's Media Blog. He chided Biden -- and the media -- based on that initial, false AP report.
But given the economic constraints, E&P reports major newspaper across the country continue to ax their staff ombudsmen, often leaving readers without direct access to the newsroom or ways to air their concerns.
A County Fair readers points out the absurdity of the Washington Post today inserting the name of McCain's campaign plane into a news article about delicate bailout negotiations:
McCain's "Straight Talk Air" landed at Reagan National Airport just after noon, and his motorcade headed toward the Senate.
Compare that with how the New York Times handled the same set of facts:
Mr. McCain's campaign plane landed in Washington shortly before noon, when there was already tentative word of a bailout deal before he even set foot in the Capitol.
It seems obvious that by including the boosterish name of McCain's plane, the Post was simply inserting campaign talking point into a news story and propping up, on behalf of the candidate, his preferred image of a straight talker.