It’s come to this: Murkowski wants Alaska TV to pull tea party ads; Update: Tea party mocks Murky by admitting “mistake”

On the one hand, I’m disgusted. On the other hand … I wonder if we could get her to keynote RINOcon.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s campaign is warning Alaska broadcasters not to air ads by a national tea party group that the campaign says are “littered with lies and intentional mischaracterizations” about her and her write-in campaign.

Attorney Timothy McKeever, in a letter to broadcasters Monday, said they are under a “legal and moral obligation” not to air the new ads from Tea Party Express, which is supporting Joe Miller, the political upstart who defeated Murkowski in the August GOP primary…

At issue is an ad the group unveiled Monday, entitled “Arrogant Lisa Murkowski — You Lost!” It seeks to paint Murkowski as more interested in political self-preservation than in serving the interests of Alaskans. It also claims she didn’t “earn” her Senate seat and that she “tried to manipulate the Libertarian party into giving her their slot” on the ballot — claims McKeever called “materially false.”

See Katrina Trinko at NRO’s Campaign ’10 site for a quickie fact-check of Murkowski’s objections. The idea that it’s somehow materially false to say she didn’t “earn” her Senate appointment from daddy is simply too stupid to address. As for her supposed “manipulation” of the Libertarians to get on the ballot — the Libertarian Party chairman says he never felt manipulated by her, merely tempted by the thought of having a sitting senator in the fold — politics ain’t beanbag. Insofar as “manipulated” implies some sort of trickery, it’s arguably unfair, but then not as unfair as Murkowski’s attack ad against the tea party just last week. Remember that one, suggesting that longtime Alaska resident Joe Miller is some sort of Manchurian candidate for California? Where are the legal demands to have that pulled from the air on grounds of gross jackassery? And incidentally, if “tea party” is such a dirty word among Alaskans, isn’t Murky better off leaving them alone to run this new spot? Why, once voters see Joe Miller’s photo and the cursed name of his sponsor is uttered, they’ll flock to the plucky incumbent, right?

The claims in the ad aren’t the only alleged falsehoods from the tea party that she’s sore about. Supposedly, they also smeared her in the primary by claiming she opposed repealing ObamaCare. Exit question: Watch this clip. How is it a smear?

Update: The Tea Party Express non-apologizes for its “mistake”:

Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell said the group was examining the ad closely, “although we know that there are no facts in contention in the ad.” Nevertheless, the group caused some flutter in newsrooms today when it released a statement that admitted to having “made a mistake” in the Murkowski ad.

“Omitted from the ad was the fact that Lisa’s campaign team also looked into a possible Independent bid for Senate, until they discovered that the filing period for Independent candidates had closed,” the statement read. “There was only so much time we had in our ad to list all the means Lisa had considered to disrespect the will of the voters who rejected her candidacy in the GOP primary,” said Sal Russo, chief strategist for the Tea Party Express.

The Murkowski campaign pulled a similar stunt last week after firing the opening shot in this Alaskan civil with the first ad to directly target the Tea Party PAC. The campaign later “apologized” for depicting the group as “coming to Alaska on an airplane. Like many tourists coming to Alaska in the summer, they took a luxury cruise ship.”