The US election campaign turned nasty last week with John McCain using TV ads to smear Barack Obama. Media Matters, an American site "dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media" questions the appoach of the mainstream media which both condemn and exploit smears against Obama.
All week, McCain's attacks have been driving news coverage. Those same news organizations that have declared McCain's charges false have given them an extraordinary amount of attention, repeating them over and over. They have adopted the premises of the McCain attacks even as they acknowledge the attacks are based on false claims. The media narrative of the week has not been, as you might expect, that John McCain's apparent dishonesty may hurt him with voters. Instead, the media's basic approach has been to debunk McCain's attacks once, then run a dozen stories about how the attacks are sticking, how the "emerging narrative" will hurt Obama. The media debunk McCain smears, then promote them (1 August 2008)Other useful websites for checking campaign smears by both sides include factcheck.org and the ones mentioned in an earlier post
Obama & McCain: Click Go the Smears
Interesting that the self-styled straight talker John McCain is dishing the dirt through his offical campaign rather than leaving it to others.
Mark Shields claimed on PBS's News Hour that
...at the Texas State Republican Convention, a sanctioned vendor there, sanctioned by the party, was selling pins that said, "If Obama is president, will we still call it 'the White House'?"No doubt McCain will disown that one!