By mid-morning Thursday, the smart and serious take on Etch-a-Sketch mania -- I tried to call it Sketchaquiddick but failed to start a trend -- was that pundits and reporters had wronged America. "We’re currently 158 days from the Republican convention," sniffed Brendan Nyhan in the Columbia Journalism Review, "and 'Etch a Sketch-gate' will likely prove to be just as inconsequential."
If so, it will disappoint the entire Democratic establishment and most of the anti-Romney GOP establishment. Reporters covered Sketchaquiddick in part because it was fluff (did any news outlet NOT run the over-rated story of the toy maker's stock price yesterday?) and in larger part because Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich talked about it. Should the press just ignore a candidate's attack line if it's silly? What about an attack that the president's re-election machine starts making everywhere? First, the DNC.
Next, the liberal Super PAC American Bridge.
And finally: Ron Paul gets above it all with an ad the CJR could love.
TODAY IN SLATE
Ford’s Big Gamble
It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.
Should the United States Grant Asylum to Victims of Domestic Violence?
The Apple Watch Will Make Everyone Around You Just a Little Worse Off
This Was the First Object Ever Designed
Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison
In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal.
How the Apple Watch Will Annoy Us
A glowing screen attached to someone else’s wrist is shinier than all but the blingiest jewels.
A Little Bit Softer Now, a Little Bit Softer Now …
The sad, gradual decline of the fade-out in popular music.