Sell No DeWine Before Its Time! Jay Cost doubts "Republican leaders" have really decided "to effectively write off" the Ohio Senate race between Mike DeWine and Sherrod Brown--as reported by the NYT's Nagourney. It's hard to believe that even World Cocooning Champion Nagourney would get such a big thing wrong, but Cost raises suspicions. For one, there is a jarring difference in tone between Nagourney's sensational lede and the more measured paragraphs buried in the piece, such as:
Republicans noted that Mr. DeWine, in addition to having a sizable financial advantage, was a well-liked figure in Ohio who handily won his first two terms in the Senate and still had enough time to recover, even though recent internal party polls showed him lagging badly.
As Cost notes, reallocating money away from a candidate who already has "a sizable financial advantage" isn't the same as 'writing him off.' But maybe Nagourney knows something. [Or maybe he's the victim of cunning Rovian disinformation-ed. I'm suspicious of Rove-as-Machiavellian-Genius arguments, though when dealing with Nagourney the temptation to con him with bogus pro-Dem info must be nearly overwhelming.] ... Update--Today's Pravda-like reading of The Note: ABC's The Note covers for its buddy Nagourney by artfully leaving out the most questionable overstatement in his piece, the words "effectively write off." ... "Reduce financial support" is one thing. But Nagourney (or a lede-goosing editor) said "write off." ... More: Stuart Rothenberg sees no 'write-off', but agrees:
The GOP's best chances for holding onto a Senate majority probably rest with Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, Virginia Sen. George Allen and Republican open seat hopeful Bob Corker in Tennessee.
But if Nagourney had written that, it wouldn't have had the same sensational, anti-GOP** impact, would it?
**--Nagourney's anti-GOP?-ed It just works out that way! Find me a story where he's hyped a lede in a way that gratuitously damaged the Dems. ... 1:21 A.M.
Sund ay, October 15, 2006
Mort's Word: Writing in the LAT, Lloyd Grove writes--diplomatically--that New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman was "as good as his word" when it came to not interfering with Grove's Daily News gossip column. But it doesn't sound like it!
Mort was as good as his word, even though I would occasionally hear that he was peeved about this or that item concerning this or that pal. In July 2005, then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller, a close Zuckerman friend, phoned him from jail in Virginia to complain bitterly about a mocking item reporting that her husband, Jason Epstein, was taking a luxury Mediterranean cruise during her incarceration. Mort insisted — via a top editor — that I write a sympathetic follow-up item expressing my delight that Epstein was able to get away from the stress of Plamegate. [E.A.]
Forcing Grove to write a "sympathetic" item about the owner's close friend--I'd call that interference. .... If that's what it's like when Zuckerman's "as good as his word," what's his word worth? 12:22 P.M. link
On This Week, former Secretary of State James Baker said his Iraq Study Group would present options in between "stay the course" and "cut and run." So what's in between? "Stability First" and "Redeploy and Contain," according to the New York Sun'sreporting. The Sun argues that both options leave out "the long-term vision of democracy in Iraq with regular elections." But the Sun doesn't make clear the extent to which "Stability First"--the apparently preferred choice--would give up on the current, elected Maliki government. Nor is it clear from the Sun's scoop what anti-democratic concessions might be made in the negotiations Baker envisions with Iran and Syria. More leaks needed. [via JustOneMinute] ... Update: LAT's Doyle McManus confirms the Sun but doesn't 'move the ball.' ... But see Dennis Ross' more fleshed-out non-Baker plan--which still doesn't make clear exactly how Iraqi democracy is to be sacrificed for "stability." ...11:50 A.M.