OCTOBER SURPRISE?….This is pretty remarkable. Channel 4 in Pittsburgh is running an AP dispatch suggesting that Tom Ridge “didn’t answer the question directly” when asked if Osama bin Laden was already hemmed in and ready to be captured, and next to it they’re running one of those ever popular reader poll.

Now, I’m assuming this poll hasn’t been deliberately targeted by a blog or talk show host trying to sandbag the results, but instead is an honest reflection of the opinion of Channel 4’s viewers. And 56% of them think that either Osama has already been captured or that the Bush administration will deliberately time his capture for close to the election.

This is ridiculous. I can’t stand the guy, but even I don’t think that. Let’s get a grip folks.

I mean, they’ll obviously do this right before the Republican convention, right? Great visuals, gives them something newsworthy to talk about, reminds everyone of 9/11 without seeming crass about it. It’s perfect.

But right before the election? Nah. That’s wingnut territory.