The Corner

Annoy The Media Re-Elect Bush

It really may be time for the Bush campaign to trot out this old standby again. First of all, media hostility to Bush has been outrageous and we need not recount all the ways here. But some people forget that running against the media is also often very effective. Poppa Bush’s smackdown with Dan Rather in 1988 helped Bush a lot. The clear effort by the LA Times to take down Schwarzenegger’s candidacy probably helped Arnold. And even Bill Clinton’s comeback kid schtick — as well as his later whining — helped him and were in some part veiled shots at a hostile press. The populist streak in America — which I tend to dislike — is not simply hostile to government but the broad elite which includes the mainstream media. I think the Bush campaign could subtley tap into that with a reference or to to how the New York Times and cBS — as well as almost all of Hollywood — want Bush to lose. Indeed, making this anti-elite point might be particularly helpful for Bush because Kerry has been scoring so many points by claiming Bush only looks out for the “powerful.”