Stupid Faux News tricks:
The right-wing American Issues Project has spent $2.8 million on an ad questioning Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) relationship to William Ayers, a founder of the 1960s radical group Weather Underground. American Issues Project had hoped to air the controversial ad on Fox News, but even the conservative network refused, reportedly wanting nothing to do with it:
American Issues Project, the sponsor of the ad, is a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization. One of its board members, Ed Failor Jr., was a paid consultant for McCain’s campaign in Iowa last year. The campaign paid his firm $50,000 until July 2007. American Issues Project spokesman Christian Pinkston said Failor has no connection to the McCain campaign now.
Organizers sought to air the ad on Fox News Channel, but a Fox spokesman said the network declined to run it. He would not say why.
This principled stand fell by the wayside today when Fox News accidentally aired the most of the ad. During a segment about Obama’s ties to Tony Rezko, Fox News attempted to play McCain’s latest ad on the subject. However, the Ayers ad began playing instead.
It's an interesting new avenue of prestidigitation: pretend to for once do the right thing by refusing a lying, deplorable, despicable attack ad, then air it "accidentally" to ensure it gets maximum attention. Good one, Faux. That's within spitting distance of clever, even if it's several continents away from responsible.
Either that, or they really did fuck up and run the wrong ad. In which case, they could be in for a world of legal hurt. I've heard this thing seriously breaks a law or two (you see, it's not Faux taking a principled stand regardless: it's ass-covering, pure and simple).
Noper. Seems like they are, in fact, expecting to get kicked firmly in the teeth. Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch, says I.
The Senate Democratic leadership is asking, "How close can we get to 60 seats?" The Senate Republican leadership is asking, "Why isn't anyone giving us money?" Subscription-only Roll Call reports today:
In a stunning admission, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Ensign (Nev.) on Friday morning blasted his GOP colleagues for not doing enough to help the committee financially, and he said he would have to scale back the NRSC's independent expenditure budget as a result. [...]
For months Ensign has pushed his colleagues to cough up more funding to help eat away at Democrats' money advantage, and has repeatedly complained that Republicans in the Senate have taken a dangerously nonchalant approach to the 2008 cycle.
It sounds they're not expecting to do particularly well.
Steve Benen points out, and I agree, that Ensign is likely issuing press releases slamming Republicons to pony up more cash because he wants to be able to say "Not my fault! Not my fault!" when the party crashes and burns this fall. This won't help him when the GOP comes looking for a scapegoat, mind, but it's a spirited attempt.
In further ass-covering news, the McLame Teme wants us to know that if Obama suddenly skyrockets in the polls, it'll have absolutely nothing to do with his being the more qualified, sane, intelligent, savvy and charismatic candidate. Nosiree, it'll be on account of all that thar attention:
Not with the general fucking cluelessness of the American electorate, no, we're not going to see the poll numbers diverge quite that spectacularly. But I think we'll see a few more folks get ye olde clue-by-four upside the head next week.
With the Democratic convention poised to begin, the McCain campaign has begun spinning furiously, ratcheting up expectations to a comical level. From a memo released this afternoon:
Obama's stadium address on Thursday -- the 45th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech -- will result in effusive and overwhelming press coverage. On Thursday, Obama will give a great speech, as has been his trademark. The press will sing his praises and remark on his historic address and Obama's place in history. For example, The Associated Press today published an article comparing the historic nature of the addresses -- a week before Obama's speech. This coverage will be impenetrable and will undoubtedly impact the polls.
We believe Obama will see a significant bump, and believe it is reasonable to expect nearly a 15-point bounce out of a convention in this political environment.
First, by hitting media coverage before it happens, the McCain campaign obviously hopes to discourage reporters from noting the fact that Obama's speech falls on the anniversary of the MLK speech. I suspect this won't work.
Second, trying to set expectations for an absurd 15-point bounce is overkill.
But that's not the bit of this I found hysterical. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how McCain gets the sulks whenever someone else becomes the MSM's darling? He's like one of those uber-pathetic children always jumping up and down screaming "MEMEME!!" and throwing a tantrum whenever Mommy pays two seconds of attention to another sibling. Poor widdle Johnny.
(Hear him blame this on being a POW in three...two...one...)
Turns out I'm not the only one getting bloody annoyed at St. John's claiming POW status as an exemption from absolutely everything, either:
After all of this, for the first time, McCain is actually starting to face some media push-back.
Once a remarkable and respected aspect of his biography, John McCain stands on the brink of "trivializing" his past as a prisoner of war, which has become a "crutch in the campaign," Newsweek's Howard Fineman declared Thursday.
"I think they are going to it way too many times. It's the original story that defined John McCain, that still when you read it in his book 'Faith of my Fathers,' when you read about it in 'The Nightingale's Song,' you can't help but have admiration and respect for the guy. And I think he wisely for many years stayed away from it as a political tool, he really did. But now it not only defines him, it's become a crutch in the campaign. And I think he is in danger of trivializing it. By the time they get to the convention in St. Paul, there might not be much of it left to use."
It's not just Fineman. Time's Ana Marie Cox went so far as to argue that McCain's over-reliance on this is "bordering on irrational."
You know what? I think the shine's starting to rub off. And we know what the MSM's like: if it ain't shiny, they ain't interested. I can hardly wait to see the bloody screaming tantrums little Johnny's gonna throw now.
But for right now, he's too busy being confused about what "drinking the kool-aid" really means:
In an AP article on how Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is supposedly a “rebel with a cause” who “chases the presidency,” former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee (RI) “compromised his credibility” by shifting his position on issues in order to reach out to the right. Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) agrees, saying that “he appears to be something different than what he was.”
But McCain dismisses any claims that he’s changed positions, telling the AP “in all due respect” that his former colleagues are “drinking the Kool-Aid“:
McCain bats away that notion.
“In all due respect to my colleagues,” he says, “They’re drinking the Kool-Aid that somehow I have changed positions on the issues. All I can say is that we all grow. We all grow wiser. And we all refine our positions.”
McCain points to his support for the surge in troops to Iraq, far from popular at its inception last year, as evidence he’s unafraid to swim against the tide.
McCain’s claim stretches all credibility. As Steve Benen has documented, McCain has flip-flopped at least 74 times over the years.
That's some serious fucking refinement, that is.
I smell a sea-change coming. I think the MSM's going to start "refining its position" on McLame. They're making a tentative effort by questioning just how many times one lame-ass politician can scream POW!!11! before it gets absurd. Perhaps they'll stumble on the flip-flop list. Then possibly realize that McCain's been a lying, cheating, vicious sack of shit all along.
Or maybe he'll throw another barbecue, and we'll lose this moment forever. At least we had a glimpse.