This past week former New York City mayor Rudolf Giuliani toured the country, lending his support to various Republican politicians and kicking up endless speculation about his presidential aspirations. At every stop, the Associated Press was there to chronicle the start-and-stop news story as it crept forward millimeter by excruciating millimeter. Herein, a look at what happens when a slow stretch of the national political cycle collides with a slow stretch of the summer.


AP headline on Monday: “Giuliani raises money for GOP candidates.”


The lowdown on Giuliani’s presidential aspirations: “Giuliani continues to insist he’ll make a decision after the fall midterm elections.”


AP headline on Tuesday: “Giuliani campaigns for Hutchinson in Ark.”


The lowdown on Giuliani’s presidential aspirations: “Giuliani has said his campaign stops are not an attempt to gauge support for a potential presidential run.”


AP Headline on Wednesday: “Giuliani to speak at Ehrlich fundraiser.”


The lowdown on Giuliani’s presidential aspirations: “Giuliani said that he is ‘seriously considering’ a run for president in 2008.”


AP headline on Thursday morning: “Giuliani helps Ehrlich, discusses possible White House bid.”


The lowdown on Giuliani’s presidential aspirations: “Giuliani said he is ‘seriously considering’ a run for president in 2008.”


AP headline on Thursday afternoon: “Giuliani Considering 2008 Presidential Run.”


The lowdown on Giuliani’s presidential aspirations: “Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani said he is ‘seriously considering’ a run for president in 2008.”


We’re pretty sure that if you cut and paste all of these stories into a flipbook and riffled through the resulting pages with your thumb, you might actually see the illusion of a news story moving forward.

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Felix Gillette writes about the media for The New York Observer.