Scribes have Kerry-Edwards "love fest" covered

Published July 12, 2004 2:18PM (EDT)

Even though there are four more months until the election, which means a mountain of campaign clips have yet to be written, wed be shocked if we come across a sillier paragraph in the entire election season than the one that appeared in an AP article over weekend.

Not surprisingly the offending passage came from a story with an absurd premise; that Sen. John Kerry and his running mate Sen. John Edwards are unusually affectionate on the campaign trail. Its a creepy GOP talking point first floated by Matt Drudge and then hammered with typical subtlety by the Washington Times' right-wing editor-in-chief, Wesley Pruden. For some reason, the AP took the bait and decided the angle was newsworthy. Here's what they came up with. Read the following graph, which breaks down an ordinary Kerry/Edwards campaign stump appearance frame-by-frame as if it were the Zapruder film, while keeping in mind it's a news story about a presidential campaign:

"With a toothy smile, the North Carolina senator opens his arms wide and wraps an equally sunny Kerry in a bear hug. The two clap each other sometimes once, often twice, on the back with both hands. Pulling apart, they each drape an arm around each other. Kerry waves with his free hand, and Edwards pumps his fist in the air, thumb up. Sometimes the two tilt their heads together to make inaudible comments."

The silly season has arrived.

By Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for Salon, is the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."

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