In a previous post I wondered how long it would take for the character assassinations to begin. Well, it didn't take long. The ABC debates on Tuesday got pretty nasty. Ads are out on TV and the internet exaggerating each candidate's flaws. The establishment candidates are attacking the change candidates while at the same time claiming to be change candidates. I guess that all depends on what you mean by change. Still, we have not seen the sort of underhanded politics we saw in South Carolina in 2000, but there is still time.

To help combat this, you may want to check out last week's edition of NOW that was all about Dirty Politics. It seems that everyone in that business eventually sees the error of his ways and bows out, but it seems there is no shortage of political operators ready to take up the mantle.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Bill Moyers had Kathleen Hall Jamieson on his program to discuss how the media was (or was not) covering the campaigns thus far, focusing specifically on the post-Iowa caucus coverage. Dr. Jamieson is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania which has an excellent political fact-checking site, FactCheck.org. If you are in doubt about what someone says in a debate or something you see in an ad, they probably have looked into it. (Bill Moyers also had interesting interviews with Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich on the show.)