Was it just me, or did this pre-debate chatter trigger unpleasant media memories from Denver?
The post-debate pundits are going to be in heaven.
They live for issue-free, "character" centerpieces like that.
Live blogging the debate, Martin claims "Joe the Plumber" is now famous because McCain picked up his story from the Drudge Report.
""Joe the plumber" can thank "Matt theInternetist" for his instant fame," wrote Martin, who noted "McCain first used this anecdote in his economic speech yesterday."
The trouble with Martin's Drudge worship is that The Drudge Report didn't highlight "Joe the Plumber" until day, after McCain started talking about him.
Schieffer just suggested McCain and Obama have been equally negative during this campaign. As false equivilencies go, that's about as bad as you can get.
MSNBC's Mark Murray says Bob Schieffer would be "out of touch" if he brings up Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright during tonight's debate:
"I imagine that this debate will be solely about the economy and probably some other domestic issues. You mentioned whether Bob Schieffer or even John McCain might bring up Bill Ayers or even Rev. Wright. But as you look at hte stock market right now where it's actually gone down more than 400 points, it would seem to be a little out of touch to ask something like that."
If Schieffer does bring up Ayers or Wright, and doesn't also ask John McCain why he is "proud" of a his "old friend" Gordon Liddy -- a convicted felon who plotted the murder of a journalist and who has urged people to shoot law enforcement personnel -- Schieffer's objectivity will a real question.
And this wouldn't be the first time. Schieffer moderated one of the 2004 debates, despite the fact that he is a longtime friend of George W. Bush who had previously acknowledged that his personal relationship with Bush made it difficult to cover him. Schieffer's brother was a business partner of Bush's before Bush became president -- and Bush made him an ambassador.
To us, the stories have the same ring as the McCain "comeback" narrative, and that the press seems more interested in injecting some missing drama into the campaign (Obama could still lose!), than advancing real news stories.
The problem, as illustrated by the ABC story, is that despite the breathless headlines, there's very little that's news to substantiate the Bradley effect narrative, which is named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African-American, who he ran for California governor in 1982 and lost, despite pre-Election Day polls showing him with a comfortable lead. The theory was that voters mislead pollsters about whether they would vote for a minority candidate.
The issue is a legitimate one for debate and discussion. It's just that in terms of the press presenting it as a burning news issue right now, there were few if any examples of The Bradley effect during the very long primary season. Polling pro's say there hasn't been a clear example of the Bradley effect in decades. And the Obama campaign claims the notion is absurd:
"I think this is a completely overblown story," said Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, saying concerns about hidden racism skewing polling data are "ridiculous."
Despite the lack of empirical evidence, the Bradley effect lives on, fueling anxiety and nervousness among many Democrats that Obama's lead will disappear on Election Day.
Updating our earlier tally, since Friday, Fox News had mentioned the community organizing group at least 556 times, according to TVeyes.com.
Let's put that in perspective and help illustrate just how obsessively over-the-top the Fox News coverage has become.
*Number of times CNN has mentioned ACORN since Friday: 67
*Number of times Fox News has mentioned Joe Biden since Friday: 130
*Number of times Fox News has mentioned Sarah Palin since Friday: 541
*Number of times Fox News has mentioned ACORN since Friday: 556
Does Times columnist Brooks regret telling the media swells at Le Cirque last week that Sarah Palin represents a "cancer" on the Republican Party and that she was clearly unqualified to be VP?
As Greg Mitchell notes today, readers of the Times have no idea because Brooks still has not addressed or explained the comments; comments that appear to contradict what he has written about Palin in the Times.
As we detailed here, it's an embarrassment for the Times to have one of its most prominent political columnists pulling his punches in print and not leveling with his readers. What else has Brooks written for the Times that may or may not believe?
The relatively straight-forward question seems to be alluding lots or reporters this week. Especially ones employed by Rupert Murdoch.
In a lengthy media analysis, the Brad Blog looks at how conservatives online are whipping themselves into a frenzy over a story that may be less than what it appears:
Those who wish to believe in the hoax, however, attempt to link to article after article about allegations of voter fraud carried out by ACORN. And yet, the articles themselves
if one bothers to actually read them
reveal that either 1) They describe allegations and investigations brought by Republican agents, with little or no evidence of any wrong doing, and certainly no "voter fraud" 2) Where voter registration fraud has occurred it has been by rogue ACORN employees, originally reported to authorities by ACORN themselves (who are the actual victims of any such fraud by their employees), or 3) Smoke and mirrors are used to cloud the fact that not a single fraudulent vote has actually been cast by anyone.