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Can John McCain Survive?

Washington Post Death Spiral Watch (Karl Vick and Paul Kane Edition)

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

Democrats Say Palin Initially Backed Bridge: ANCHORAGE, Aug. 31 -- Democrats accused Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on Sunday of misrepresenting her role in scuttling a controversial bridge project to a remote island in southeast Alaska...

Ryan Avent:

The Bellows » Journamalism: But wait. Just a few paragraphs later we read:

While campaigning in Ketchikan in September 2006, Palin indicated support for the bridge project, assuming there was no better alternative. “This link is a commitment to help Ketchikan expand its access, to help this community prosper,” she told the local chamber of commerce, according to an account in the Ketchikan Daily News.

In other words, Democrats say Palin initially backed the bridge because Palin initially backed the bridge. Why isn’t that the substance of the headline? What kind of reporting is this?

Ezra Klein:

EzraKlein Archive | The American Prospect: Democrats don't "say" Palin initially backed the Bridge, Palin says she initially backed the Bridge, which is to say, Palin initially backed the Bridge, and Democrats are drawing attention to her statement. Attaching a "Democrats say" to "Palin initially backed bridge" makes no more sense than attaching a "Reporters say" to "Gustav Lashes Gulf Coast; Levee System Tested." It's a nonsensical appendage meant to undermine the authority of the story's conclusions: These things are either true or they aren't, and people are paying the Washington Post good money to clear up that ambiguity for them.