Tuesday, August 24, 2004


How NBC News sees the Swift boat story

NBC's "First Read" is a semi-internal document that they issue daily for news-planning purposes. Its value to me, if any, is to view big media's take on the latest. Today's email was more interesting than most:
The swiftees story lives on into Day 20 despite the fact that President Bush said nothing yesterday that was really new (we don't consider "that ad, every other ad" to signify a shift in position), and Kerry said nothing. Both sides claim the story could help them: Democrats argue that at worst, it turns out to be a wash and at best, they turn it against Bush by making it a character issue, as Edwards tried to do yesterday. The GOP thinking is that at worst, it turns out to be a wash that dogs Kerry for two-plus weeks and at best, it undermines his national security credentials.

So far the story isn't increasing attention to Bush's own Guard credentials and how they measure up against Kerry's service. At the same time, it's overshadowing Kerry-Edwards efforts to focus on issues that favor them, including Edwards's assault on Bush's overtime rules yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Swift Boaters' second TV ad goes up today in a couple of states after one of the most successful free-media efforts in recent campaign history. (emphasis added)

Related post: The dog that didn't bark

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