recto-cranial.jpgRemember 1998, when everybody had a job, we paid down our debts, and the country was in such good shape thanks to Bill Clinton’s undoing the budgetary madness of Ronald Reagan that the Republicans and their media buddies kept trying to jail him on any pretext or none? One of the media’s favorite tropes was that indictments were supposedly just around the corner for Clinton and his crew. Except that they weren’t. Yet that didn’t stop the press from pushing every single piece of bogus Republican oppo as news.

You’d think, then, that when a senior Bush official is under official scrutiny for masterminding the politically-motivated trial and conviction of a state governor, this would be Big News, on the order of what Whitewater was supposed to be but wasn’t. But the Karl Rove contempt story isn’t getting anywhere near the media play of Britney Spears’ recent bikini sighting — and the most prominent media mention of it has been an LAT story spun in classic "he said she said" fashion to present an "other side of the story" that doesn’t really exist. (Yupper, it’s another "Shape of Earth: Views Differ" classic.)

So what does the press consider news today? Well, there’s this WaPo story which the Republicans have clutched to their bosoms as "proof" of Barack Obama’s uppity "arrogance" — except that the WaPo’s Jonathan Weisman carefully and selectively rearranged the quote to make it say something the total opposite of what was meant, a move so blatantly wrong that not only the Democrats but even some of Weisman’s fellow journos are ripping him for it.

Meanwhile, John McCain repeats his debunked lies about Obama and Ramstein, knowing that the lies will get far more media love than the debunkings. Ai-yi-yi.