Kansas Media Watch does not usually scrutinize college newspapers. The writers are young, inexperienced, and, therefore, prone to making mistakes. For example, Frank Tankard, writing for the University Daily Kansan editorial board on November 6, endorsed Rep. Dennis Moore for re-election. Tankard's praise for Moore, however, was not unqualified:
"Republican challenger Chuck Ahner, who has never held elective office, says he would vote to make President Bush’s tax cuts permanent, which could hurt the U.S. economy when the country is in a deficit. Moore voted for the cuts in 2000, before the economy went into recession, but voted against extending them permanently."
Of course, Bush's tax cuts were passed after Bush became president in 2001. Also, the Clinton-Gore recession began in March 2001 (i.e., under Clinton and Gore's final budget), months prior to Moore voting for the Bush tax cuts.
I'm reluctant to scrutinize Peter Hancock's work because it often resembles that of a college sophomore's.
Hancock, a statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and a columnist for the Topeka Metro News, on November 17 wrote a column which included the following paragraph:
"And how about the other [Phill] Kline commercial - the one about the horribly ugly-looking black man who was let out of prison early, only to rape and kill more innocet white women - that was so overtly racist and demagogic that it made George H.W. Bush's 'Willie Horton' ad look tame by comparison?"
"Overtly racist" commercial? If there were such a commercial, surely the Kansas media would have written much about it. Yet a Google search of the words "Phill Kline racist commercial" turns up nothing. Phill Kline's campaign Web site has a page for his commercials, but the links are inactive. Several of those commercials are available at YouTube, but none shows the "horribly ugly-looking black man."
I contacted Hancock, but he offered few details other than saying he saw the commercial while a guest on public television's "Kansas Week."
In the same column, Hancock noted that he was "eating the same stale carry-out pizza from 20 years ago."
I'd like to give Hancock the benefit of the doubt, but it appears that his 20-year-old pizza brought on some serious hallucinations.