Ouch! McCain pwned by … Larry King?!

Rashid Khalidi: a slander too far?

Larry King interviews McCain, asks softball questions, nods as McCain rolls out the Rashid Khalidi nonsense. (In fact, King didn’t notice that the McCain had just talked about the supposed suppression of the videotape &#8212 which the LAT claims it got on condition that it would not be shown, and about which the LAT published a story months ago &#8212 and asked the next question from his script, which allowed McCain to go through it again.) It’s hard for me to believe that McCain’s faux-na├»f shtick convinces anyone not already convinced, and he still hasn’t learned to suppress entirely the signature smirk that means he thinks he just scored a point, but for all I know it might be working.

But.

I watched the interview on a replay. At that point, CNN cuts away from the interview itself to footage of Larry King, alone in the studio, looking into the camera and reciting the CNN factcheck showing that McCain is making a fuss about nothing in particular. Not helpful to the cause of bamboozlement, and a strong suggestion that CNN management has had about enough of being used as a conveyor belt for slander.

Update Now this is weird. (h/t Sullivan)

Shep Smith of Fox News(!) tells Joe the Racist Non-Plumber in no uncertain terms that his fifteen minutes are up.

Note the dishonest game McCain and Palin play with this loudmouth. Wurzlebacher can say all sorts of ridiculous stuff and never have to defend it; he just drops into his “I’m a ordinary guy and don’t know nuthin’ ” act. They can then escape accountability for their slanders of Obama by attributing them to “Joe” and treating any criticism of those slanders as disrespect for American working people.

But note, more importantly, that Fox News management would never have allowed this if the campaign still looked winnable for McCain. And the Obama camp’s strategy of going after Fox as an arm of the RNC looks smarter and smarter.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com