Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 29, 2004
POLITICS: Bedfellow Award Season

I have, in the past, threatened to hand out - but never got around to awarding - a "Bedfellow Award" for too-late-to-respond hits in the campaign season, especially (but not exclusively) false ones. The name comes from the comic strip "Bloom County," in which Senator Bedfellow was defeated on the strength of an election-day headline, "WARNING: VOTING FOR BEDFELLOW MAY CAUSE HERPES".

2002 had loads of candidates, including the flap over the Wellstone memorial service; the 2003 winner probably went to the LA Times sexual harrassment story on Schwarzenegger (the accuracy of which never seems to have been examined, although I don't doubt that there was a good deal of truth to it, given Arnold's reputation), although there may be something I'm forgetting; the Kerry-intern story was a good example from the primaries, although the rolling nature of primary elections gave him time to get the truth out before more damage was done.

The simplest definition of a Bedfellow Award nominee is a news story that (1) comes out shortly before the election, and (2) has a much larger impact on the election than it would have if it had come out earlier. Obviously, (2) is particularly true of stories that are false or misleading, since they tend to be easier to explain or debunk if they come out with adequate time to respond. If I get enough nominees, I'll hand out awards for the presidential race, a Senate race and maybe a House race, as well as an award for each party.

Anyway, we've got a battery of candidates so far in this year's presidential election (let alone the Senate and House races), and the late hits - some true, some false, some fair, some inserted by people outside the US political process - keep rolling in fast and furious:

*Will word come out that Kerry was not, initially, honorably discharged from the Navy?

*A new bin Laden video! (See here, link via McArdle, in which bin Laden seems to be relying on "Fahrenheit 9/11" for his talking points, and here, in which a very sad-looking bin Laden sounds like he's cribbing from DNC speeches for material, ripping the "inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance" and accusing Bush of "misleading" the American people. Is it for real? Is it recent? Will there be enough time to tell the difference?

*Another example just from Instapundit's backup singers: Michael Totten links to this FOX News report saying maybe we really did protect and dispose of at least a big chunk of those missing explosives. The whole HMX/RDX story, of course, is a leading candidate for the award at the moment, but there's plenty of time for more.

Anyway, those are just the early entries; we'll get crazier stuff still as we go. Put your favorite candidates in the comments - and I'll update this post as we go - and I'll try to hand out awards after the election.

UPDATE: (And I've also added a little to the text above). From NRO Battlegrounders, word that a Pennsylvania judge has unsealed records from a Heinz family lawsuit over the death of Teresa Heinz Kerry's first husband, records that could potentially shed more light on the family's finances. There probably isn't much news in there, but if there is, there won't be time to give it context.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 05:35 PM | Politics 2004 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (3)
Comments

I hate to throw this one out there, but based on how the left assumes anyone who believe in God will abandon Bush if they can push a wedge between them, my guess is 60 Minutes will have a receipt for an abortion from 1972 that they will claim Bush paid.

I acknowledge this is old as they have pushed this BS almost as often as they pushed the cocaine crap. However, no one ever said the Dem's had much imagination. Remember these are the same idiots who thought the public would care whether he showed for a physical 30 years ago. Hell, in my 25 years in the Navy I blew off dozens of medical and dental appointments. Guess what no one cares.

Posted by: LargeBill at October 29, 2004 10:28 PM

This isn't a presidential election one but Johnny Isakson (the next US Senator from Georgia) put out a flier right before the primary election in July saying that Herman Cain had given money to 'Senator Kerrey' (that would be Bob Kerrey and that was while Cain was head of the Nat'l Restaurant Association in Nebraska, Kerrey's home state) and that Cain was for reparations (Cain is black and completely against reparations or, for that matter quotas or anything else like that).

Posted by: Karol at October 30, 2004 10:24 PM
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