The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

L.A. Times Goes After Fred Thompson With Cheapest Cheap Shot Ever


Two depressing bits of news to head out for the weekend…

First,  in perhaps the cheapest of cheap shots ever, the Los Angeles Times, which really no longer deserves to be taken seriously as a newspaper, suggests Fred Thompson has to answer for playing a :

So can “Law & Order” actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) become the first presidential candidate with this credit? Thompson played a white supremacist, spewing anti-Semitic comments and fondling an autographed copy of “Mein Kampf” on a television drama 19 years ago.

His colleagues say that he was just an actor putting everything he had into playing the role of a charismatic racist, named Knox Pooley, in three episodes of CBS’ hit show “Wiseguy” in 1988. “Do you call Tom Cruise a killer because he played one in a movie?” asked show creator and writer Stephen J. Cannell.

This sounds like an Onion parody of attack journalism, but it’s not. They continue: 

But in the age of YouTube, this performance could raise an intriguing political question: How does a performer eyeing a presidential run deal with a video history that can be downloaded, taken out of context, chopped into embarrassing pieces and then distributed endlessly though cyberspace? Some conservative political blogs are already considering the problem.

For this, they cite Patterico, who predicted the media would try to use this role as a villain from 1980s television as a ham-handed attack on Thompson. Guess he was right.

They also quote his character’s entire diatribe. As if it’s in any way relevant to Fred Thompson’s potential candidacy.

For this sleazy attack, the GOP, RNC, etcetera ought to consider how much they want to cooperate with Los Angeles Times reporters. And advertisers have to ask themselves if they want to be associated with this kind of sleaze.

Also coming my way from Ace of Spades, news of a Rasmussen poll showing that 35 percent of Democrats believe George W. Bush knew the 9/11 attacks were coming and let them happen.

It’s tough to be a “uniter, not a divider” when 35 percent of your opposition is insane.

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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