Remember: When this administration has a story that makes it look good, there's a better-than-average chance it will be floated (and given the best possible spin) in time to be the top story in America on Monday morning. Bad news (and embarrassing corrections to good news) comes on Friday afternoon whenever possible.
This practice isn't unique to the Bushies. What's new is that we're in a state of permanent war -- on terrorism and, apparently, on Iraq -- and the carefully spun, carefully timed news is about life and death, good and evil. And because it's about war, it's cloaked in secrecy, so journalists are even more cautious than usual about approaching it skeptically. So they transmit it pretty much the way they get it.
Case in point: the report that U.S. soldiers are searching for Saddam's DNA after a missile attack on a convoy. The attack occurred last Wednesday and, as The New York Times reports today, unnamed "U.S. government officials" say
There was no evidence so far ... to support the idea that Mr. Hussein or his sons might have been killed in the raid, and some officials were doubtful that they were.
Nevertheless everyone's heard -- today, not late last week -- that we might have wasted Saddam and his sons and there's nothing left but DNA. Excellent, dude! This is how the Bushies do it -- they (usually) don't lie outright, but they do float vivid, exciting stories when a lot of people will notice them, in the belief that a lasting impression of ass-kicking righteousness will be conveyed even if the stories are later disproved.
Judging from Bush's poll numbers, it works.