Macroblog: An Unteachable Moment
Thinking Aloud...

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps?

Adam Nagourney of the New York Times doesn't just bury the lead. He erases the lead with white-out. The funniest thing I've seen all week:

After Sluggish Start, Lieberman Heeded Warnings of Trouble - New York Times: [The New York Times, in an editorial published on Sunday, endorsed Mr. Lamont over Mr. Lieberman, arguing that the senator had offered the nation a "warped version of bipartisanship" in his dealings with President Bush on national security.]

That's all Nagourney says about the most important piece of news in his story. All. Not an additional word.

That's the news. That's not what Nagourney talks about.

What does Nagourney talk about? He claims that Lieberman has a "sharp new message":

The price of Mr. Lieberman's slow start was on display on Friday, 11 days before the Aug. 8 primary. Mr. Lieberman, reshuffling his schedule after Democrats warned him that he was still not campaigning with enough urgency, set off on a 10-day bus tour across the state, with a sharp new message.

What is the "sharp new message"? Does Nagourney tell us? No, he does not.

Nagourney tells us of the return of a bunch of old advisors--not that Nagourney reports that they actually do anything:

A half dozen advisers from Mr. Lieberman's past campaigns turned up at his headquarters to provide support, responding to e-mail messages and other entreaties, including some from Mr. Lieberman's wife, Hadassah.

Nagourney tells us of Senator Dodd's efforts to "help." (It's been a long time since I've seen a nastier dagger-in-the-ribs than Dodd's observation that Lieberman finds it "painful" to have to say, first, "I'm a Democrat.)

Christopher J. Dodd, the other Connecticut Democratic senator, stepped in roughly six weeks ago with his own political advisers to bolster a Lieberman campaign staff that associates said Mr. Dodd viewed as too inexperienced for a campaign that had become so difficult. Mr. Dodd recounted telling Mr. Lieberman that he needed to embrace his Democratic roots -- explicitly and repeatedly. Friends described Mr. Lieberman as indignant at the challenge from liberals to his Democratic credentials. "I said, as painful as it is, the first words out of your mouth and the last words out of your mouth every time you speak have to be 'I'm a Democrat,'" Mr. Dodd recounted on Thursday. "You can say whatever you want after that."

Of course, "I'm a Democrat" is not the first thing Lieberman thinks, is it?

Mr. Lieberman is facing the prospect of a summer that may define his career as nothing else has, since he was elected to the State Senate in 1970. He has said he will run as an independent if he loses to Mr. Lamont, an announcement that one associate said only further hurt his standing with Democratic voters and elected officials who already were questioning his loyalty. Should Mr. Lieberman lose the primary, all indications are that most Democratic leaders will abandon him in the general election race against Mr. Lamont and the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger.

And Nagourney let's Lieberman lie himself blue in the face:

Mr. Lieberman, in an interview aboard his campaign bus on Friday, said he had long expected to face this kind of challenge, given his support for the Iraq war. He said the timing of his response had been appropriate because voters were just beginning to focus on the race. "I want to assure you that I'm not surprised that I am in a fight for the Democratic nomination," he said. "I always expected that I would have a primary challenge based on Iraq. I was hoping that God would send me a poor challenger. I am being tested with a rich challenger." He added: "Look, I could have told you this would be very close at the end. I know now it is very close."...

But "sharp new message"? Nagourney says not a word about what Lieberman's "sharp new message" is.

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