The Corner

Speaking of Washpost Bias

We have this, from Dana Milbank this morning: “As Bush and Kerry responded with dignified statements of unity against Osama bin Laden, the two campaigns struggled to game out their reactions, and to figure out how such a surreal event — the feared, ghostly image returning to Americans’ TV screens after a long absence — would alter Tuesday’s outcome….But in an election as close as this one is, even minor influences can have some impact. That concern was evident in the reaction to the tape’s broadcast yesterday — first an unusual silence, then hurried meetings and, finally, cautious statements.

Kerry went first. ‘Let me make it clear, crystal clear: As Americans, we are absolutely united in our determination to hunt down and destroy Osama bin Laden and the terrorists,’ he said.”

NO. THAT IS NOT HOW IT HAPPENED. As noted in The Corner yesterday, John Kerry’s first instinct was not caution. It was political attack.

And, a friend reading that piece comments: “Isn’t it odd that Milbank’s analysis concludes the tape will have little impact on the outcome? Watching the talking heads on cable last night, there was virtual unanimity that the tape — and especially the very different reactions to it — will help Bush.”

So why would Milbank conclude otherwise, completely contrary to both conventional wisdom and political common sense? Oh, I don’t know, could it be that he knows that to hhave people believe that the tape is, but a nuisance aside, with little real-world consequences, would help Kerry. Oh, to think such a thing…

But if the reactions weren’t that different — as Milbank would have us believe — Kerry suffers less. Hmmmm. Could it be? No, no, how could I even think such a thing…?