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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

We Drift From "The Picture" to "The Memorial"

As to the memorial, outrage. Two issues strike me:

The Fairness Doctrine: this memorial was broadcast, evidently live, as "news". As a political rally, it would have been covered very differently. Atrios calmly explains why this does not matter.

The campaign moratorium: the two sides had agreed to suspend campaigning until after the memorial. Story, and killer Dem quote:

"In a letter to [Rep.] Eibensteiner Monday, [Dem.] Carlson wrote that "the sensitivities of the Wellstone family should be respected." He also wrote, "I understand your desire to get on with politics. However, I would respectfully request that the Republican Party cease issuing debate challenges, etc., and wait until the Democratic Party has named its candidate."

Which is happening this very Wednesday morning.

So, remember Paul Wellstone any way you want. But I am surprised to think that he would want to be remembered as a man who broke his promises, and side-stepped campaign rules. All of this could have been avoided by "ending the truce", agreeing to resume campaigning, and billing this as a memorial rally. All of it.

UPDATE: Hmm, the head of the Wellstone campaign seems to be leaning this way.

"In the wake of the controversial memorial service for Sen. Paul Wellstone Tuesday, the head of the Wellstone campaign apologized Wednesday for the event’s sharply political tone."

OK, I have my "Dark Force" Decoder Ring working. Why did he apologize? Is he a stand-up guy who made a mistake? Or is he trying to head off the TV people?

And it is worth remembering - the good people of the great state of Minnesota will have a chance to comment on this next Tuesday.

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