So, why would news outlets play along? MSNBC's Joe Scarborough accidentally said what he was actually thinking yesterday morning while talking to Chris Matthews.
MATTHEWS: Now, it'll die, as we said, it'll jump the shark. Two days ago, no, we're all talking about -- you're waving the tabloids around, come on. Two days from now -- I want to ask you, what will we talk about two days from now?SCARBOROUGH: Whatever the McCain campaign wants us to talk about, because the McCain campaign is assertive.
I suppose the most obvious question that comes to mind is why the Obama campaign isn't equally assertive. But the truth is, it's quite assertive. Like D-Day, I've seen plenty of the campaign's blast faxes, emails, "In Case You Missed It" memos, etc. Obama's team is pushing plenty newsworthy stories at media personalities on a nearly constant basis.
But news outlets seem kind of picky about what kind of nonsense goes into heavy rotation. As far as I can tell, the story has to a) have video; b) be exceedingly simple and easy to summarize in a few seconds; and c) be good for John McCain.