Where there's smoke, there's Segretti
by Dover Bitch

Digby and dday are in the Mile High City, but here's a view of the convention coverage from closer to sea level. When the news broke last week that the Clinton's formed a "whip team" to handle troublemakers, I immediately realized that any disturbance, no matter how insignificant, would be elevated to a top story. It's kind of like when there's an earthquake and all the helicopters swarm over a burning shack somewhere and people across America get the impression that all of California is engulfed in flames.

The McCain campaign is smart to put out these otherwise ridiculous Hillary Clinton ads this week. The ads may be easy to mock if you are an Obama supporter (they are easy to mock), but McCain's real target audience is his base, which means the tire-swinging press corps.

Naturally, FOX News is already leading the way by not just reporting that it's 1968 all over again, but trying to actually stir up trouble for their broadcasts. But the rest of the media appears to be receiving the message perfectly. CNN is spending most of their time this morning talking about the attempts to "paper over" the big divisions in the party. MSNBC just ran a clip of Teddy Kennedy standing with Jimmy Carter in 1980 as NBC's David Brinkley cooed, "This is awkward."

It's a well-rehearsed GOP strategy and it's going to be monumentally difficult to keep this convention from being turned into a Clinton-Obama civil war -- at least as far as it appears to everybody outside Denver this week.

UPDATE: As soon as I hit 'publish' for this post, Chuck Todd said the Clinton-Obama story "is like catnip for us." He then explained that the media will get over it soon. Yeah, right.

LATE UPDATE: In fairness to Todd, as the convention opened, he dumped cold water all over the topic by telling Chris Matthews that it's not a real story and reporters will likely look back and wonder why they wasted time on it. But wasting time, they are.