STEPHANOPOULOS: WE'RE JUST THE GOP'S ADVANCE TEAM
From an interview with George Stephanopoulos by Greg Sargent of Talking Points Memo:
...When I asked him whether asking about Obama's derelict approach to his flag lapel pin risked making it look like right-wing frames were dictating the line of questioning, Stephanopoulos said:
"Sure, there's a risk." But he added: "If you look at the fall campaign, there are some clear signals from Senator Obama's opponents that all of these issues are going to be put together in a general argument. They all go back to that same theme." ...
In other words, it doesn't matter how irrelevant the issue is, or how low the blows are going to be -- if the Republicans are planning to aim low in the fall, the press simply has to reinforce their efforts by doing the same thing first.
This is, I think, a new low for the mainstream press. Even in recent elections, the press wasn't this bad. By this Stephanopoulos standard, there should have a ten-minute inquisition in a 2004 debate about whether John Kerry really shot himself to get a Purple Heart; Bill Clinton, back in '96, should have been asked if he and his wife were responsible for killing Ron Brown, Vincent Foster, and dozens of other people; and in '88 Michael Dukakis should have been asked whether his wife had onced an American flag. After all, each of these stories, was part of what was "put together in a general argument" by the people campaigning against those Democrats, if only under the radar in some cases. Hell, even though he'd already answered it, I suppose JFK should have been asked a debate question in 1960 about whether he planned to suspend the Constitution and hand the reins of the U.S. government over to the Vatican. Why not, if scurrilousness isn't a disqualifier?