Lean Dean wants to hunt down Obama bin Laden

William Dean Singleton, CEO of MediaNews Group, apparently isn’t too good with names. At the Associated Press’s annual luncheon in Washington yesterday, Singleton asked Sen. Barack Obama if he was willing to commit more troops to Afghanistan given that “Obama bin Laden is still at large.”

Singleton later apologized for the verbal gaffe, which Obama reportedly laughed off. But the slip of the tongue by the head of the country's fourth largest newspaper chain, which includes the St. Paul Pioneer Press, might be revealing of his own political views.

As Westword points out, Singleton hasn't been shy about wielding his media clout to support the GOP. In 2004 he overruled the Denver Post's decision to endorse John Kerry over Singleton's personal friend Dubya. More recently he's used the Post to attack Democratic Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.

Which makes the Denver daily highly unlikely to support the senator from Jalalabad. But will Singleton's political proclivities have any impact on which candidate the Pioneer Press chooses to endorse?