COMMENTS: Negatives & Noses

NBC's Lee Cowan offered a Pennsylvania primary progress report as Democratic candidate Barack Obama completed his six-day bus tour with a live MSNBC interview with Chris Matthews on Hardball. Both Cowan and ABC's George Stephanopoulos played an update of Hillary Rodham Clinton's 3am telephone call ad. This time the ad's call concerns home foreclosures not a foreign policy emergency. It goes unanswered because McCain, who opposes federal intervention would "let the phone keep ringing." Stephanopoulos explained why the ad targets McCain not Obama: "Superdelegates are going to lose patience" if Rodham Clinton stays in the race and attacks Obama. She would be "going too negative. By going after John McCain she avoids that."

On CBS, anchor Katie Couric offered one more follow-up on the coup by her network's Sharyl Attkisson, who exposed Rodham Clinton's sniper fire fib with news videotape from Bosnia last week. "These days every single thing they say is analyzed and dissected so when stories fall apart you cannot help but wonder: 'Why do they do that?'" Couric drew a comparison with Campaign 2000, dubbed Dumbo vs Pinocchio by author Roger Simon. In that contest it was Al Gore who was tagged as misleading, while George Bush was seen as simply making mistakes. In this year's contest, Couric theorized, Rodham Clinton is the one who risks the phony, untrustworthy label whereas Obama's Achilles Heel is not his honesty but his experience.


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