David Adesnik makes an observation about NYT campaign coverage. I think we can safely call it an understatement:
The negative thrust of campaign journalism has begun to engulf the Democratic candidates.
Begun? Begun?? Have you forgotten about how Al Gore “Didn’t know who he was?” How he had some crazed feminist telling him what to wear? How he pathologically lied at every turn about inventing the internet, starring in Love Story?
If anything, it’s been better this time around than 2000. And that’s saying very, very, little. Adesnik limns the light-as-air nonsense on Edwards nicely.
As I’ve noted in this space, the annoying, searching for negative implications and problems-based style of campaign coverage at the Times has occasionally spread to the Bush campaign this time around. But this crap has been consistently applied to all recent Democratic front-runners and candidates (Gore, Dean, Kerry). In the primaries, Edwards, never a frontrunner, never got this kind of attention. Now that he’s on the ticket, he’s going to be transformed into the victim of weird and nonsensical unsavory insinuations. What more should we expect from our paper of record?