My former colleague Marc Ambinder is facing a dilemma:
McCain campaign airs provocatively misleading ads.
The press has a conundrum.
If we want to point out how misleading they are, we air the ad.
McCain’s campaign wins the point.
If refuse to point out how misleading they are, McCain’s campaign escapes criticism.
I can think of a few possible ways out of this specific dilemma. But here’s a larger point. Journalists construct “narratives” about political personalities and campaigns that color their coverage. Maybe this observation ought to influence the press’ narrative about McCain.
If you have other suggestions for Marc, why not email him or leave some thoughts in comments I can pass on.