Well, I almost calle…
Well, I almost called the Hugh Hewitt show this evening. (Finished my commute while I was still on hold, and I had to hang up.) So here’s what I would have talked about, because I just had to get it out.

A previous caller said she’d heard that the Kerry campaign wasn’t worried about the challenges to the Christmas-in-Cambodia story that John Kerry’s been telling because they believe they have the press in their pocket. It’s been all over the blogosphere (e.g. check Instapundit, and just keep searching for “cambodia”), and Hugh’s been noting things since at least August 6th. (He also notes other sites that have been on this story since May.) Anyway, I believe that Hugh told the caller to get ready because the major media outlets were going to break it soon.

To bolster this opinion, Hugh noted that Mark Steyn has an article on it, that Carl Cameron has hit the story on Fox News Channel, as well as the NY Post. Now, all 3 would be considered by Democrats to be “right-wing” publications and/or writers and thus not easily tossed into Kerry’s hip pocket. But my question is this: If the vast majority of the major media hasn’t touched this story yet (and, according to Hugh’s guests Captain Ed and Roger L. Simon, still won’t touch it tomorrow), how can you not say that the press are generally trying to spin for Kerry?

Consider two options:

A – Damaging information about a candidate is put out by the media on day 1. On day 2, the candidate’s campaign denies the allegations until they’re shown physical evidence of them, then they obfuscate. On day 3, no response. On day 4, no response. On day 5 or later, the campaign cobbles together some explanation.

B – Damaging information about a candidate is not put out by the media until the candidate’s campaign cobbles together their explanation. Day 5 above becomes, to the viewers of the majority of the mainstream media, day 1. An allegation and a rebuttal. Ho hum…zzzzz.

Which option puts the candidate in the best light vis-a-vis the largest viewing audience possible? Option B, of course. Which, I think, precisely proves the caller’s point; the campaign can safely come up with some explanation in the midst of a news blackout, and then when the media pretends to play the “investigative reporter” role on day 5, they look nonpartisan, when in fact they’re clearly in the candidate’s camp.

It doesn’t matter that the blogosphere has covered this like white on rice. It doesn’t matter that (as Hugh notes) the big-time lefty bloggers are saying nothing about it (or brewing up non sequiters here and here, and Atrios can’t even bear to mention why he’s bringing the subject up). It doesn’t even matter that Fox News Channel is hitting this, or even if CNN did, because all these news sources are dwarfed by the broadcast network viewership and readers of the NY Times, the Washington Post, et. al. Yeah, I know viewership and readership of the elite media is dropping, but this election is in November and we can’t wait for this slow erosion. What matters is that the major media are hijacking the news for what can only be political purposes.

And no, FNC’s coverage of this does not “prove” they’re in the pocket of the Republicans. It just goes to show that they are fair and balanced, and if the rest of the big media were as objective (and, apparently, competent) as FNC is, this story would have broken on their pages days ago.

My prediction: Silence through Friday. Coverage in perhaps the Friday evening papers or during the weekend. By Monday morning, the liberal pundits will be proclaiming it “old news”. Spin control at it’s finest, courtesy of that liberal media.

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