If that's the case, how much you know depends upon which paper you've been reading.

And if it's the hometown Journal Sentinel, you didn't know much about John McCain's latest gaffe until long after the fact.

No Pulitzer today, guys.

At a town meeting Thursday in Greenfield, McCain declared that:

"I can tell you that it [the Surge] is succeeding. I can look you in the eye and tell you it's succeeding. We have drawn down to pre-surge levels. Basra, Mosul and now Sadr City are quiet."

That happens to be false. There are still more troops in Iraq than there were before the surge. And two car bombings on Thursday killed some 20 persons in Mosul.

When the local media get an opportunity to cover and even interview a presidential candidate, we should expect more than "What brings you to Wisconsin?" or, "Do you think you can win here?", or a smarmy column about McCain meeting a local teen.

The JS live-blogged McCain's town hall where he made the statement (I've never understood the rationale for a live blog), and produced this on McCain and Iraq:

-- In one of several shots aimed at Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee, McCain stressed his support of the "troops surge" in Iraq, which Obama opposed: "He said it wouldn't work. He said it wouldn't succeed. He said it would trigger a wider civil war. ... He was wrong then and he's wrong now when he wants to bring the troops home according to a timetable that will lead to chaos."

It's not clear whether the media or the Obama campaign initiated the followup stories, but on Friday the Washington Post online gave McCain three Pinocchios in its Fact Checker feature, and the NY Times was reporting on "a fierce debate" over McCain's claims. The JS didn't pick up on it until McCain was asked about it at a Friday afternoon news conference in Milwaukee, then led with McCain's defense.

The story on the exchange ran in Saturday's JS on the top of page 3A, in case there was anyone left who hadn't heard about it.

McCain, incredibly, wouldn't even admit that he misspoke. He seemed a tad testy, too.

Nobody's perfect: The NY Times called the location of the Greenfield town meeting "Greenville." Washington Post called it "Greensdale."

Submitted by xoff on