The Corner

Kerry Flap

Jonah: This new Kerry controversy may not have Republican fingerprints on it now, but that isn’t necessarily how posterity will remember it. Al Gore was the guy who first used Willie Horton to attack Michael Dukakis, during the 1988 primaries. It didn’t deny Dukakis the nomination, but it gave Lee Atwater an idea. We can debate the Horton thing to death–my only objection is that it in advertantly smeared the name of a different Willie Horton, a great man who played baseball for the Detroit Tigers–but in the media mythology of negative ads, Gore’s approach is now remembered as a Republican “dirty trick.”

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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