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Man in the Middle

Reported by Judy - August 26, 2004 -

Fox and Friends and Fox News Live today (August 26) both tried to make political hay for Bush off John McCain's statement about the smear boat controversy.

Fox and Friends interpreted McCain's statement as saying he was sick and tired of the issue, but that Kerry invited the attack, yet Bush could do more to stop it. Co-host Andrew Napolitani objected that Bush can't get involved because then he would violate the law forbidding coordination between campaigns and independent groups. (The FEC chairman said last night on Hardball that Bush would not violate the law in calling on the smear boats to stop.)

On Fox News Live, Democrat Michael Feldman and Republican Rich Galen debated McCain's statement. Galen emphasized that McCain wishes Kerry would not use his statements from the 2000 campaign about Bush smearing him and Feldman focused on the view that McCain's statement shows that the smear boat controversy "really touched a nerve" because it illustrates a pattern of Republicans smearing veterans from McCain, to Max Cleland, to John Kerry.

McCain's statement seemed to offer something for everyone and perhaps offer an advantage to neither side.