Can Sticks and Stones Break Bonesmen’s Bones?

…And speaking of bones, at The Corner, Tim Graham has one to pick with Katie Couric for calling the arrival of the Bush television advertisements a “massive ad blitz,” as if, Graham writes, “it were a bombing raid or a passing hurricane.” Graham may be the only voter in the country who hasn’t had it up to here with political ads. It’s not the ads, but the “daily drumbeat of the news media who dominate between the commercials” that troubles Graham, who’s more concerned with “the massive Katie Blitz than the ‘massive ad blitz.’” (Sounds like Graham needs thicker skin on dem bones.)

Leftleaners, as you might have guessed, are lukewarm on the ads. Calpundit wonders if George W. Bush’s “Today America is turning the corner” spot could be any closer to Ronald Reagan’s 1984 “It’s Morning in America” ad “without triggering a copyright infringement suit.” Some differences he sees include “that Reagan could genuinely cite some good statistics: inflation down, employment up, interest rates down, and so forth.” Josh Marshall finds a distinct “it’s not my fault” undercurrent in the Bush ads, which he reduces to this terse takeaway: “It’s midnight in America. But if the Democrats were in, the sun might never come up!”

At Tapped, Matthew Yglesias is lukewarm on the New York Times and the Washington Post’s efforts to “assess the accuracy” of the Bush ads. The Times’ Jim Rutenberg, Yglesias notes, “chose to review a spot that ‘makes no verifiable claims’” while the Post’s Howard Kurtz “reviews an ad that does make a verifiable claim and just ignores it.”

Beyond the blitz, Jeanne D’Arc at Body and Soul gives a hint as to how she regards the press in a post titled “The World’s Oldest Profession.” It burns D’Arc up that five network bigfoots on Tuesday had what the Washington Post described as “an unusual meeting” with President Bush during which the president spoke “‘on deep background,’ meaning that the information could not be attributed to anyone.” The network hotshots agreed to these terms, D’Arc theorizes, “because they all miss the little chats they used to have with [Bush] back in 2000, and they’re willing to settle for whatever they can get.”

And sometimes, as Campaign Desk has noted, “whatever they can get” ain’t much.

Liz Cox Barrett

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.