I’ve got a new article on the hompage about state and national media coverage of the New Jersey Senate race:
For the past week, the mainstream media has run story after story about the nastiness of this year’s campaign ads — perhaps as a way to distract our attention from their own dirty tricks. Among the ads that have drawn critical coverage are those currently running in New Jersey against incumbent Democratic Senator Robert Menendez. Most of the local media have scolded the campaign of Republican candidate Tom Kean Jr. for the “down and dirty” ads, and a national commentator even called them racist. But there is nothing dirty or racist about pointing out that Menendez is the only U.S. senator whose dealings are the subject of a federal corruption probe.
… So the next time you see a segment on “dirty campaign ads,” remember: By the standards the media have applied to the New Jersey Senate race, drawing attention to widely reported and well-founded charges of corruption against a Democrat is “dirty,” and if the Democrat is a minority, it’s “racist.”
Of course, if the Republican is a minority, it’s best if his ads are “unthreatening” and “almost child-like.”