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The Great Media Pile-On
What does the Hillary camp say about all this?
"Sadly, Senator Obama caved to the pressure of the pundits and fundraisers who demanded that he go negative and abandoned the 'politics of hope' message that sparked so much interest in him early in the campaign. Meanwhile, Senator Edwards doubled down in his effort to become the guy best known for attacking other Democrats."
Was Russert the problem? HuffPoster Taylor Marsh thinks so:
"Evidently Tim Russert felt that with Hillary Clinton the frontrunner it was his job to do what her opponents have been unable to do for months: attack her full out, no matter the subject or tactic . . .
"Tim Russert asked 26 questions; 14 were to Clinton, with five directly targeting her personally."
Is Team Hillary leaking to Drudge again? Real Clear Politics' Tom Bevan jumps on that:
"Via Drudge, we see Hillary's camp is trying to pin the blame for Clinton's poor performance on Tim Russert:
"CLINTON INNER-CIRCLE BLAME 'UNFAIR' MODERATOR TIM RUSSERT. 'HE BORDERED ON THE UNPROFESSIONAL,' TOP HILLARY ADVISER CHARGES. 'HE BROKE DEBATE RULES AND WAS BELLIGERENT' "
"Please. Blaming Russert is not only ridiculous, it makes Hillary and her campaign look like a bunch of spoiled children. Why not say, 'so we had one bad night out of a hundred' and leave it at that? Better yet, why say anything at all?
"Up until now, the Clinton camp has been basking in near constant media praise for having run a 'flawless campaign.' But they hit one bit of turbulence and this is how they respond?"
NBC's First Read tackles the outer space issue:
"Seriously, Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, called on the government to declassify all Roswell documents. He brought it up himself when Chris Matthews was joking about Kucinich's UFO answer. He said the government hasn't 'come clean' on the issue. His campaign will surely say he was joking, he has a sense of humor. But even though he was laughing in some parts of that answer, he wasn't joking about THAT."
Don't miss The Washington Post's newly uncovered cache of Rummy memos, in which the former Pentagon chief spends much time complaining about the press:
" 'I think you ought to get a letter off about Ralph Peters' op-ed in the New York Post. It is terrible,' he writes on Feb. 6, 2006 . . .
"On March 10, he commanded J. Dorrance Smith, the assistant defense secretary for public affairs, to craft a 'better presentation to respond to this business that the Department of Defense has no plan. This is just utter nonsense. We need to knock it down hard.' A Washington Post-ABC News poll that month found that 65 percent of Americans thought that Bush had no plan for victory.
"On March 20, Rumsfeld ordered a point-by-point analysis of the seven 'mistakes' columnist Trudy Rubin wrote about in the Philadelphia Inquirer and a response to her essay -- which he wanted to see before it was sent out. Rubin wrote that the war had 'gone sour.' 'Please have someone find precisely when I said 'dead-enders' and what the context was,' he ordered Smith in September 2006.
"A November 2006 editorial in the New York Times that said the Army was ruined 'is disgraceful,' Rumsfeld wrote to Smith . . . Rumsfeld later reprimanded his staff, writing, 'I read the letter we sent in rebuttal. I thought it rather weak and not signed at the level it should have been.' "
Goodness gracious, those were the days.
On a personal note: For those in the D.C. area, I'll be signing copies of my book "Reality Show" tonight, from 5:30 to 8:30, at the National Press Club's Book Fair.