FOX's Brit Hume spins for Bush

FOX News managing editor and chief Washington correspondent Brit Hume attempted to put a pro-Bush spin on data reported by The Washington Post; the data indicates that President George W. Bush's reelection campaign is airing more attack ads than is Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign. While Hume criticized the Post for failing to include in its count the thousands of negative ads aired by the Kerry campaign during the Democratic primaries, the information the Post omitted is even less favorable to Bush.

From the June 2 edition of FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: The Washington Post has reported that the Bush re-election campaign is using, quote, “unprecedented negativity against John Kerry.” The Post says Kerry has so far aired only 13,300 ads in major media markets, while Bush-Cheney has aired more than 49,000. But the Post is only counting ads from the period since March 4, when the Bush-Cheney '04 team began its ad campaign. The Post fails to note that more than 15,300 negative ads that Kerry ran during the primary season, which means that Kerry ran nearly 29,000 negative ads, more than twice as many as the Post noted.

Pushing back the start date of the Post's survey only emphasizes how much more negative Bush's campaign has been: Bush has run 71 percent more negative ads than has Kerry (49,000 negative ads from Bush versus 29,000 from Kerry) in one-third of the time (three months since March 4, 2004, versus nine months since Kerry ran his first negative ad on September 4, 2003). Indeed, if Bush had been running ads at his current pace since Kerry ran his first ad, his current negative ad total would be approximately 147,000 -- 413 percent greater than Kerry's current total.