Wow -- even Karl Rove doesn't approve this message

For days, people in the media, bloggers, etc., have been trying to drive home the message that John McCain and his advisors are running a campaign that may be the sleaziest ever, surely up there with Lee Atwater's slimefest for George H.W. Bush in 1988 and with the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth. Now, here's some backup from an unlikely source, indeed:

Former Bush adviser Karl Rove suggested Sunday that John McCain had gone “one step too far” in some of his recent ads attacking Barack Obama.

Rove has leveled similar criticism against Obama. “McCain has gone in some of his ads — similarly gone one step too far,” he told Fox News, “and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the ‘100 percent truth’ test.”

It will be interesting to see if Team Obama can and will use this in an ad. Meanwhile, Tom Esdall has a good piece on the state of the race -- here's the key passage:

To a considerable extent, the media insurgency has materialized. There have been tough, highly critical stories about McCain's claims in the New York Times "McCain Barbs Stirring Outcry as Distortions," the Washington Post "McCain Wraps Distortions Around One Truth," the Los Angeles Times --"New election low: distorting the fact-checking -News outlets and independent truth squads seem to agree that the McCain camp's distortions on Barack Obama have gone too far"--and many others.

The McCain campaign, however, is banking on the notion that the steady decline in trust in the media has reached the point of no return, that the press and television can no longer play the role of umpire or national arbiter of what is accurate and what is untrue, what is fair game and what is out of bounds.

More on this later (I know SSB and Swifty can't wait).