Ed Morrissey says that "it's easy to tell when a candidate has the potential to do well in a campaign -- the opposition starts throwing mud as early as possible."
Well, the public relations arm of the Democratic National Committee -- better known as the mainstream media -- has begun its anti-Fred Thompson campaign. Someone at high levels is worried, because the effort seems broad and well-coordinated. Consider:
* The Los Angeles Times publishes Thompson's links to a Washington-based, pro-abortion organization.
* The New York Times attacks Fred Thompson's wife, asking "Is America ready for a president with a trophy wife?" (Paul Hinderaker responds, "I don't see why not. In 2004, America came fairly close to electing a trophy husband." Heh!).
* Today, nearly a hundred papers are running articles that link Thompson to Watergate including:
o Fred was 'Nixon mole'
o Nixon saw Thompson as 'dumb' ally
o Thompson helped Nixon on Watergate
o Nixon thought Fred Thompson was "Dumb as Hell"
|...President Richard Nixon and his top aides viewed the fellow Republican as a willing, if not too bright, ally, according to White House tapes.|
...Mr. Thompson played a behind-the-scenes role that was very different from his public image three decades ago. He comes across as a partisan willing to cooperate with the Nixon White House's effort to discredit the committee's star witness, former White House counsel John Dean.
As of this morning, there were 97 news articles describing Thompson's links to Nixon.
Someone at the DNC must be worried -- very worried -- about Fred Thompson.
Update: Charlie Foxtrot notes another egregious hit-piece from Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press:
|Thompson Strong on Style, Not Substance|
Fred Thompson's easygoing, no-nonsense style is clearly his strength and undoubtedly has helped him soar in presidential polls. It may only get him so far.
Sooner or later, the all-but-declared candidate will have to answer the question: What else do you offer?
What indeed? How about his own, well-written blog and a series of opinion pieces that offer blunt assessments on terrorism, illegal immigration, energy policy, and taxation? Does that count as "substance"?
If the Associated Press gets any more tilted they'll have to change their logo.