So maybe there's something to this "Gang of 500" theory after all: The AP has already written their debate story. We don't mean that in a "mainstream-media-writes-a-master-narrative-and-bends-subsequent-events-to-shape-it" way. (As parodied on last night's Daily Show.) We mean it in a "clearly-someone-wanted-to-go-home-early-tonight" way. From the wires:
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) After a deluge of campaign speeches and hostile television ads, President Bush and challenger John Kerry got their chance to face each other directly Thursday night before an audience of tens of millions of voters in a high-stakes debate about terrorism, the Iraq war and the bloody aftermath.What's weird is that the story really couldn't have been produced with circa Sept. 30, 2004 4:45PM-era equipment . . .
The 90-minute encounter was particularly crucial for Kerry, trailing slightly in the polls and struggling for momentum less than five weeks before the election. The Democratic candidate faced the challenge of presenting himself as a credible commander in chief after a torrent of Republican criticism that he was prone to changing his positions.