Torn between two lovers ...


If you read Michael Powell's front-page election coverage in this morning's New York Times, you'll find this article claiming that Obama and McCain are attracting the youth vote. But there's only one problem with this story: There's no evidence that McCain is actually doing so. In fact, Powell admits up front that Huckabee is kicking his ass youth-wise. But the media love McCain, and so this article runs on the front page of the nation's most important newspaper even though its premise is undercut in its opening paragraphs by this sentence: "Far fewer young people voted in the Republican caucuses, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas scored highest, drawing well with evangelical youth." Actually, all they have in common is that media mavens love both of them.

Look at Bigamist Jake Weisberg. Look at Bigamist David Brooks. Look at this unbelievably silly column by Richard Cohen.

You'd think all this "double love" would make these pundits more sympathetic to Mormonism (or perhaps NAMBLA...).

OK, that's enough from me today. We'll have results tonight, and yesterday's post went up quite late and most people probably missed it. In the meantime, take a trip over to TNR to read Jason Zengerle's thoughts on Media-McCain Love here, and then spend some time with Comrade Greenwald's column here where, in a series of posts, he fleshes out some of the above points and adds his own. Scroll down so you don't miss the "Bourgeois Riot" section as well as all those terrific Huckabee meltdown predictions.

Oh, one more thing: Gilbert Harrison died. To those who didn't know him, alas, he will go down in history as "the man who trusted Marty Peretz" ...

OK, I see one more thing I gotta mention. In a piece about media Obama-love -- he doesn't notice the McCain madness -- Howie "Conflict of Interest" Kurtz calls Andrew Sullivan a "right-leaning blogger." I recall a story last year in which alleged liberals were being quoted in the Post as loving John Ashcroft; the evidence being Wonkette and Little Roy, exclusively. That was then. Today, for Howie's convenience, Andy's back to being a right-winger. One thing's for sure: Sullivan is certainly a scab. At least that ILR professor went on The Daily Show to talk about the strike, but it's quite a bit different than the pure self-promotion in which Little Roy engaged on The Colbert Report at the expense of the show's striking writers, and writers everywhere. (P.S. Nobody I know is criticizing Stewart or Colbert. They are contractually obligated to do what they are doing and, given that, they're doing their best.)

Correspondence Corner:

From: Siva Vaidhyanathan
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

Defend the Yankees and/or the City for the sluggishness in moving toward their contractual obligations to make the South Bronx better? It's indefensible. As I have written many times, there are no baseball owners in heaven. Like every team, the Yankees are trying their best to screw people who work for a living and want to bring their kids up to love baseball. Every policy of every Major League team is geared to selling empty seats to corporations and law firms. The mere fact that the Yankees have committed to stay in the Bronx is reason to cheer, however.

I look forward to Eric's defense of Robert Moses' abandonment of Brooklyn so that he could build that freeway-bound monstrosity that Mets fans so worship -- the old, soulless one and the expensive new one that Eric has not bothered to criticize yet.

Eric replies: Actually, were my close personal friend -- and the world's greatest biographer, living or dead (well, after Boswell) -- Bob Caro here, he could attest to the fact that we had a conversation about exactly this point at his house this summer, in which I spoke to Moses' free historical ride vis-à-vis the unfairly hated Walter O'Malley. I believe the historical record will bear me out in demonstrating that I mentioned the HBO documentary on the Brooklyn Dodgers as one of the best docs of any kind I've ever seen, and in it, this point is examined under Caro's guidance.


Name: Ben Miller
Hometown: Washington, DC

Mr. Alterman - I am confused by the media's definition of "negative campaigning." After the results from Iowa were in, John Edwards was doing an interview (I apologize, I forget on what station and with who), and he said it was on to New Hampshire and one thing he would try to do was stress the differences between his health plan and Obama's. The reporter then asked, "So, you are going to go negative?" Am I wrong, or is this not negative campaigning, but simply campaigning. Pointing out what is different between one candidate and another, especially about policy, is not negative, but important information for people to have and to be able to judge for themselves. Negative campaigning is sending letters in the mail in a southern state that your opponent has an illegitimate black child, or running ads with false allegations about your opponent's war record when you yourself hid behind daddy and dodged the war. That is negative. Definitively saying my health care plan would do X while my opponents will do Y is not negative, and is exactly the type of information we should be listening to. And unfortunately, we aren't getting.

Name: Jerry Levin
Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Per Chalmers Johnson's review, why did Zbig want to provoke a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? Was this revenge for Vietnam? A way to bleed the Russians? Would it force them to withdraw from Eastern Europe? What was he thinking?

Eric replies: Both, is my understanding. And it worked, though the cost has proven perhaps prohibitive ...

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