Here is another intersting article from the Chicago Tribune: this one focuses on the effect that the Internets are having on the Presidential campaign of Senator Obama. It makes the valid point that rumor and innuendo are more easily spread through the Internet and blogs. But it does so with a weak story that did not go anywhere.
So what makes the article particularly juicy is that the Chicago Tribune is really (1) attacking the New York Times for lazy journalism (big deal that Obama's pastor went to Libya in 1984?); and (2) protecting its hometown candidate. Combining the two, we can observe the MSM fighting it out on clear, identifiable issues that can be read in or easily inferred from the article itself.
Yet one also gets the sense that by protecting their respective candidates, the newspapers are also placing bets on their hometown candidates. After all, should Senator Clinton or Senator Obama become the Democratic nominee and--dare I dream--then the next president of the United States, what MSM outlets would benefit the most? Thus, the Trib has smartly decided to play defense for the Obama campaign and question the integrity of the NYT.
Conversely, is it possible that the New York Times (and other respected members of the MSM, mind you) is willing to play offense for its hometown candidate outside of the editorial page? Of course, newspapers are able to play largely unfelt tricks (the location of articles within the paper) as well as easily observed tricks (choice of headline) but are they willing to stoop so low as to irrelevant publish Drudge-like attacks as news that leave no fingerprints from the hometown campaign?
You be the judge as Campaign '08 progesses.