CNSNews.com is having a tryout for another attack on President Obama -- but this time it gave itself the added degree of difficulty of having declared it wasn't an issue first.
A June 29 article by Matt Cover breathlessly declared that "White House visitor logs reveal that President Obama’s political organization, Obama for America, filmed two campaign videos featuring the president--inside the White House." Cover waited until the second-to-last paragraph of the 12-paragraph article to undo all the hinting at illegalities he had been doing in the rest of the article, conceding that "the videos are not illegal" and that "presidents have often used the White House as a setting for political material."
Then, two days later, Cover apparently decided he didn't trust his legal analysis -- or, more likely, he or his bosses decided that this could be turned into a politically motivated wedge issue against the president. So he scared up a pair of right-wing activists who he presents as "election law experts" to declare that the videos are illegal after all.
Cover identifies Cleta Mitchell only as "a member of the American Bar Association’s election law committee"; in fact, she's a right-wing activist who we last saw serving as a contact for Dick Morris' Super PAC for America. Cover does offer some hint of the political slant his other "expert," Hans von Spakovsky, by noting that he's a "Heritage Foundation legal analyst," but he's much better known for obsessing over the largely nonexistent scourge of voter fraud.
But while Cover, in his June 29 article, noted that "President George W. Bush also filmed part of a campaign ad in the residential portion of the White House. President Bush also used a picture of himself in the Oval Office in a fundraising email from the RNC," he apparently did not ask Mitchell or von Spakovsky about the legality of those incidents, for he does not reference them in the new article. Nor does Cover mention that he had declared the videos to be legal just two days before.
Then again, it's not in Cover's interest to find out if Bush broke any election laws -- that's not what the Media Research Center is paying him to do. It doesn't matter to them that the flip-flop and the double standard is so blatant.