Washington Babylon — November 1, 2007, 11:32 am

The Press Squeezes Blood From a (Campaign) Stone

“After a rare night of fumbles by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination rushed to maximize the damage yesterday, even as her advisers argued that the ‘piling on’ engaged in by an all-male field of opponents will ultimately drive more female voters into her camp,” the Washington Post breathlessly reported today in an article titled “Clinton Regroups As Rivals Pounce.” “Clinton strategists grudgingly acknowledged that the performance in Tuesday’s debate in Philadelphia was not her finest and they sought to contain the fallout.”

I love when the press tries to build excitement about the campaign with this sort of juiced up story. You’d think the Post was writing about the latest wrestling matches on Raw, not the dreary Democratic race for the presidency. Given the bland realities, I can understand the impulse but if they’re going to do it right reporters should take lessons from the masters:

“The usually unflappable Shawn Michaels lost his cool after the Chairman questioned his motivation for seeking a title match with Randy Orton. “You want revenge,” Mr. McMahon yelled. “Admit it!” HBK’s rage exploded, and he admitted that, yes, he’s absolutely hungry to sideline Orton.”

Just substitute Barack Obama for Shawn Michaels, Hillary Clinton for Randy Orton, and Tim Russert for the Chairman—now you’ve got some lively campaign copy.

To help reporters out, I’m offering a few more samples from Raw that they can employ in upcoming stories. Try it yourself and see how easy it is to cover the campaign by simply changing a few names.

You can only poke a rattlesnake so long before he bites back. As Santino Marella continued his criticism of former WWE Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and his acting skills in front of the Wachovia Center crowd tonight on Raw, the familiar sound of glass breaking in The Texas Rattlesnake’s music poured from the arena speakers. The crowd went wild as “Stone Cold” appeared on the TitanTron–or so they thought. Cheers quickly turned to boos as they realized it was not Austin, but Marella in disguise–an early Halloween costume of his own.

Or this one:

Is WWE Champion Randy Orton in danger of joining his own Legends Killed list, courtesy of Shawn Michaels? If you noticed the look in HBK’s eyes Monday night on Raw when he demanded a rematch with Orton for the WWE Championship, the third-generation Superstar might want to reserve a bed alongside some of his other victims in the WWE MAS*H unit. There was something disturbingly sinister about The Showstopper when he burned a hole into Mr. McMahon and admitted he wanted more than Orton’s cherished title. Michaels unapologetically conceded he wanted to hurt the Legend Killer for trying to end his career several months ago.

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