The Times Just Can't Forget the Max Cleland Ad

Political reporter Jim Rutenberg conducted an exit interview of sorts for Sunday's editionwith Bush's chief political advisor Karl Rove, who is resigning at the end of the month.

In "Spurning Criticism, Rove Puts Blame on Democrats," Rutenberg proved he has a long memory when it comes to alleged unfair assaults against liberal icons.

"Mr. Rove was asked whether harsh Republican attacks on the national security credentials of various Democrats in 2002, orchestrated by him, had added to the climate. Among the advertisements that year was one from the Georgia Senate race in which the Republican, Saxby Chambliss, called the Democratic incumbent, Max Cleland, a triple-amputee Vietnam veteran soft on defense and flashed the menacing image of Osama bin Laden."

"'President Bush and the White House don't write the ads for Senate candidates,' Mr. Rove said, calling himself 'a convenient scapegoat,' and blaming Democrats for their losses."

Since 2002 the liberal media has whined about the ad against Cleland (and also misrepresented it - the Times has done so on several occasions). Various myths about the anti-Cleland ad have taken a long time to wring out of the liberal media. Rutenberg's piece isn'tthat bad - but did the anti-Cleland ad really qualify as a "harsh attack"?

You can watch it here. Over a montage of four photographs, one each of bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, two others of the U.S. military, a narrator reads: "As America faces terrorists and extremist dictators, Max Cleland runs television ads claiming he has the courage to lead."