Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 1, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

SAFIRE AND CBS....I know this isn't a very important issue, but since William Safire keeps bringing it up I want to throw a question out to the crowd. Here is Safire again about CBS' alleged nefarious intentions in planning to break the al-Qaqaa story on the Sunday before the election:

CBS originally admitted intending to break its surprise accusations about our troops' failure to secure the ammo on "60 Minutes" on Oct. 31, last night, only 36 hours before polls opened. Journalists call that hyping device a "keeper" holding a story for the moment when it causes the most damage which the victim cannot refute until after Election Day, by which time it's too late....The Times, to its ethical credit, refused to go along with CBS's planned last-minute ambush and instead front-paged its article one week ago.

That's not right, is it? This story did far more damage to Bush by being released a week ago rather than last night. If it had first surfaced on Sunday, it would just barely be generating some buzz today, and by the time it started picking up some steam the election would already be in progress. In fact, it's a truism among campaign professionals that mudslinging negative attacks need to take place at least several days before an election to have any effect.

Right? Or am I totally off base on this?

Kevin Drum 12:51 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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