CNN.com on Tuesday covered for Democrat vice presidential candidate Joe Biden's comment that the Obama campaign ad making fun of John McCain's inability to use a computer "was terrible."
According to CNN's Alexander Mooney, "Joe Biden can rest easy" for making this remark during his interview Monday with "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric because the ad "only ran 6 times" (video embedded right, full report on Couric's interview by my colleague Brent Baker available here).
Well, that's six times more than 1964's "Daisy" ad -- which historians believe helped President Lyndon Johnson defeat Barry Goldwater -- initially aired. In fact, even the liberal Wikipedia views it that way:
"Daisy," sometimes known as "Daisy Girl" or "Peace, Little Girl," was a controversial campaign television advertisement. Though aired only once (by the campaign), during a September 7, 1964, telecast of David and Bathsheba on The NBC Monday Movie, it was a factor in President Lyndon B. Johnson's landslide defeat of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election and an important turning point in political and advertising history. Its creator was Tony Schwartz of Doyle Dane Bernbach. It remains one of the most controversial political advertisements ever made.
Furthermore, in this day and age of 24-hour cable news networks, websites, blogs, and YouTube, a controversial ad that runs just once can be seen by millions of people.
Although Mooney touched on this, he still appeared to be covering for Biden:
Joe Biden can rest easy.
That Obama campaign ad mocking John McCain's computer illiteracy only ran 6 times, according to CNN's ad consultant Evan Tracey of TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG.
The ad, which Biden called 'terrible' Monday in an off-the-cuff comment to CBS News, also appeared to only air in the Washington, DC area, though it was heavily reported in blogs and news reports.
The 30-second spot was released by the campaign 10 days ago and sought to portray McCain as out-of-touch with most Americans.
For the record, here's the related exchange between Biden and Couric:
COURIC TO BIDEN: Are you disappointed with the tone of the campaign? The "lipstick on the pig" stuff, and some of the ads -- you guys haven't been completely guilt-free, making fun of John McCain's inability to use a computer.
BIDEN: I thought that was terrible, by the way.
COURIC: Why'd you do it then?
BIDEN: I didn't know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we would have never done it. And I don't think Barack, you know. I just think that was-
COURIC: Did Obama approve that ad? He said he did, right?
BIDEN: The answer is I don't think there was anything intentional about that. They were trying to make another point. That's very different than deliberately taking a vote Barack Obama had to teach children about how to deal with child-predators and saying he was teaching them sex education in kindergarten. Very different in degree.