Monday, July 28, 2014. Last Update: Fri 5:17 PM EST

Monthly Archive

February 2004

Tucker Carlson on Vanity Candidates and Style MOABs

Today, Tucker Carlson, co-host of CNN's "Crossfire," discusses media coverage of the Democratic candidates, questions the press should be asking,... More

What Did Kerry Say?

The Democratic race has been relatively "issue-free" to date. Maybe that's why when the candidates do get bogged down in... More

Larry King With Teeth?

The blogosphere may have debate burnout -- most bloggers ignored last night's festivities, which looked to Campaign Desk more like... More

“Sorry Chief, I Can’t Cover That, I Have to Stay Home and Wax the Floors”

In the Feb. 28 issue of National Journal, William Powers advances the provocative premise that media coverage of the gay... More

Institutionalized: Corps Versus Scott

Most White House press briefings go something like this: Reporter: Ask question. Press secretary: Recite talking point. Reporter: Rephrase question.... More

They’re Still Not

One of the oldest rules of journalism is the hoary maxim given to green reporters by crusty city editors everywhere:... More

Right Direction, Wrong Numbers

Three more reporters have in recent days fallen into the trap on the Bush administration's job numbers that the editors... More

A Cry of Acclaim, Amidst Indignant Denunciations

Day Four of the Nader Candidacy, and, at first glance, nobody seems to be doing handsprings. David Broder of The... More

Kabuki, Surfers and Audie Murphy

Finally, the blogosphere finds a way to tie the Bush administration to stylized Japanese theatre. Josh Marshall, invoking "dingbat kabuki,"... More

Newsweek Didn’t

In the "Conventional Wisdom" section of its Feb. 23rd issue, Newsweek gives Gen. Wes Clark a down arrow, noting: "Drops... More

Journalese, a Base Language, Blooms Anew

By Bryan Keefer Perhaps it's because baseball's spring training is starting up (or perhaps the press corps is dazed by... More

Back to the Basement!

Once upon a time (and some of us at Campaign Desk remember those days), reporters knew that some pretty good... More

Getting Kerry Wrong on Gay Rites

Thanks to an alert reader for this one. Several cable news networks made the same crucial slip-up yesterday in representing... More

Ralph’s Reality Check

The smack-down of Ralph Nader by former acolytes in the opinion media is continuing apace. If Nader had hoped to... More

Reporters Relish Heinz Kerry’s Spicy Quotes

With California's Democratic primary now six days away, the Los Angeles Times' Robin Abcarian today contributes her two cents to... More

Knot In My Backyard

As the culture wars become increasingly rancorous, the blogosphere is partying like it's 1992 -- although this time around it's... More

Cliche Watch: Unsafe at Any Speed

Ralph Nader's announcement Sunday that he plans to run for president has provided ample opportunities for critics of his decision... More

Significantly Misleading

Here's an example of a lede that promises something that the subsequent story doesn't quite provide -- and that in... More

AP Takes an Unwarranted Leap

Consider this description from the second paragraph of the Associated Press' account of President Bush's speech at a fundraiser yesterday:... More

Beating Around Bush

Anti-Bush bloggers are positively giddy about reports that young Barbara isn't following in daddy's footsteps. Kos and many others link... More

“Did I Say That?”

Thanks to an email from the Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, we were guided to an instance of the New York Times'... More

Which of These Things Is Not Like the Other?

Kudos to John Harwood of The Wall Street Journal and Terence Smith, the media correspondent for "The News Hour with... More

Beyond the Announcement

The mainstream media moved in lockstep in its coverage of and comment on Ralph Nader's "Meet the Press" announcement of... More

Attention, Class: You All Get an F!

So why has the media been so off the mark this election season? Howard Kurtz thinks he's got the answer.... More

Ralph Wiggs’um Out

The Democrats may have greeted Ralph Nader's candidacy with nearly universal disdain, but the bloggers have an entirely different reaction:... More

We Love “X” Factors

Ever since Washington Post reporter Mark Leibovich had a ringside seat for a juicy little spat between Sen. John Kerry... More

Times Tidbits

This morning's New York Times contains no single article of stunning import or new insight, but it is scattered with... More

Dana Milbank on Covering the White House and Nicknames We Can’t Publish

As part of our continuing series of interviews with political journalists and commentators, this week Campaign Desk interviews Washington Post... More

Assessing Dean’s Legacy

Will Howard Dean's Internet-driven candidacy win a place in history, or will it be relegated to asterisk status in the... More

Poll Tax

By Zachary Roth The story of polls, the press, and Tuesday's Wisconsin primary is not a pretty one, and there... More

The Chattering Class Eyes Itself

When Campaign Desk thinks about "the most excitable New Yorkers," several pictures come to mind ... Bronx-born Yankee fans ...... More

John Edwards, Piñata

Yesterday the blogosphere rolled out a coronation ceremony for Edwards' electability, but today is another day, and everyone brought a... More

The Price of Betting on the Wrong Horse

The glum faces on the folks listening to Howard Dean's exit speech yesterday didn't belong solely to his idealistic young... More

“All the News That Fits We Print”

In The New York Times today, Adam Nagourney and David M. Halbfinger quote John Kerry's press secretary, Stephanie Cutter, who... More

Can Somebody Tell Us What Happened?

Maybe you had to be there yesterday when the Federal Election Commission issued its advisory opinion on soft money. We... More

Kerry: Most Unpopular Kid on the Playground?

No doubt spurred on by commentary posted on Slate and The New Republic, the blogosphere today is in a tizzy... More

The “Shocking” Story That Wasn’t

The following headline ran this afternoon on an Associated Press story by Deborah Riechmann: "Laura Bush Says Gay Marriage 'Shocking.'"... More

Sometimes All It Takes Is a Phone Call

No White House has ever come out and bluntly said that an event on the President's schedule was a public... More

Are There Attack Ads in Your Future?

By Susan Q. Stranahan With its lack of vicious and misleading political ads, this primary season has been like none... More

“Unaligned”? We Don’t Think So.

Did anyone else notice that Steve Murphy, who was Dick Gephardt's campaign manager before Gephardt quit the race after getting... More

“Glimmers of Light in the Forest Primeval”

Some years ago, humorist Roy Blount had an epiphany -- if one is patient and diligent enough, he assured his... More

“Good God, Doctor - It’s Still Breathing!”

The blogosphere, along with print pundits, is busy this morning hauling an alive-and-kicking Sen. John Edwards out of the very... More

Makeup Artists and Shopping Tips

Political junkies come in all sizes and obsessions. Some OD on polling data; some on subtle shifts in stump speeches.... More

Burying a Warm Body

The folks over at CBS, Knight-Ridder and Tribune Business News don't need no stinkin' exit polls: they can apparently see... More

Exit Poll Whack-A-Mole

At the risk of appearing to be the self-styled moral cowboy of the blogosphere, we'd be remiss if we didn't... More

Sins of Omissions

The conventional wisdom in print journalism is that young people don't read the news. The coverage of President Bush's defense... More

Drudge, Dickens, and the Death Rattle (?) of a Rumor

Yesterday, a crestfallen Matt Drudge downgraded the affair alert on his web site from last week's red ("Campaign Drama Rocks... More

Insightful Reporting - What a Concept

In this morning's Wall Street Journal, John Harwood takes a dispassionate, insightful look at the dynamics that make this year's... More

Democrats and Demo Tapes

With voting underway in Wisconsin between Kerry and the other guys, the blogosphere has already moved on to the ins-and-outs... More

Not So Fast

In today's New York Times, Adam Nagourney and Jodi Wilgoren write: "Dr. Dean was preparing to return to his home... More

What Goes Around …

So, what's Howard Dean going to do after tomorrow? Better question: How's he going to do it? As the media... More

The Post Gets Closer Every Day

We hate to bring this up again. But, yesterday, The Washington Post continued to misreport the number of months early... More

Did These Guys Watch the Same Debate?

Maybe it was just a wardrobe malfunction, but there seems to be some confusion about the status of the Democrats'... More

That�s a Stretch, Scott

As Instapundit points out this morning, Scott Lindlaw of the Associated Press tries really, really hard to link Bush's appearance... More

Foxhole Politics

Jake Tapper, an ABC correspondent, has an intriguing little piece on today's New York Times Op-Ed page that's a lot... More

President’s Day Presidential Musings

Even though it's a holiday, the blogosphere is hard at work, and so are we. Mathew Gross, Gov. Howard Dean's... More

Real Quotes and Real Money

Two items of interest in The New York Times caught Campaign Desk's eye this morning. First was a page one... More

The Times Comes Through

The New York Times distinguished itself on several fronts this morning. In its lead story by Elizabeth Bumiller and Philip... More

Who Are These Guys, Anyway?

Last Tuesday's mid-day press briefing at the White House marked a conspicuous change in the press corps attitude towards White... More

Auletta on Careerism, Vanity, Touts and Aping Fox News

Editor's note: This is the first installment in a new regular feature. Throughout the election season, Campaign Desk will conduct... More

Trivial Pursuit

With speculation mounting about a possible running mate for frontrunner Sen. John Kerry, it seems a good time for a... More

Cox on Cox: A Window into the Mind of the Beleaguered Drudgette of the Moment

You think it's easy being Wonkette? Perish the thought. In a wide-ranging interview with Campaign Desk this morning, the blogette... More

Hell-lo, AP: Anybody Home?

For the sixth day in a row, The Associated Press has written about the duration of President Bush's service in... More

Keeping the Facts Straight on Gay Marriage, Part Trois

As the campaign progresses, the hotly-disputed language of the proposed federal amendment on gay marriage is bound to become an... More

Drudgery

How some of the major blogs have reacted to the Kerry rumors: Josh Marshall: Completely ignores it. He's still writing... More

Keeping the Facts Straight On Gay Marriage, Part Deux

The New York Times slipped up again today on the details of a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. As... More

First Step: Admit You’re Powerless Over The Addiction

During the Civil War, some northern newspapers, uncertain as to the reliability of dated dispatches sent overland by part-time correspondents... More

Slate 1, AP 0, USA Today -1

As a campaign press apparently totally unprepared for the task at hand grapples with a story that requires some actual... More

Attention, Campaign Press: It’s Still 2004

While many in the campaign press today focused on Sen. John Edwards's motives for staying in the race -- does... More

Flight Schools and Ketchup

Calpundit -- who doesn't see a problem with the early release of exit polls -- continues to lead the pack... More

You Wouldn’t Believe What We “Hear”

The Associated Press newswire just coughed up an understandably unsigned story, headlined, "GOP Blames Clinton for Iraq Intel Lapse." And... More

Has Basic Reporting Gone AWOL?

Just as it can't seem to provide a coherent account of how early President Bush was discharged from his National... More

Keeping the Facts Straight on Gay Marriage

Over the weekend, The New York Times erred on a key aspect of an issue that could be crucial in... More

72 Minus 64 Equals … 6?

Okay, we'll grant the point: It isn't always easy being a reporter these days. President Bush's National Guard record is... More

Conspiracy Theories and Immune Systems

John Hood, writing on the National Review blog, "The Corner," suggests that there's been a sinister agreement between the Kerry... More

UPI Revisited

Last week Campaign Desk promised our readers United Press International's explanation as to why they copied the National Review Online's... More

Lots of Legs, Slow Chase

Most of our Echo Chamber stories here at Campaign Desk tell the doleful tale of reporters mindlessly repeating and amplifying... More

Blogs and Journalistic Ethics

Here's an exchange between Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos and Zachary Roth of Campaign Desk, sparked by Roth's criticism of... More

What Does It Take to Make Page One Around Here?

Last night, more than two years after the fact, the White House backed off from a statement made by President... More

The Leak Goes On

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (and a very irritating one at that), here we go again:... More

And Now, Our Story About the Story About the Story About the Scream

Building on Diane Sawyer's story last week on how the media had both overplayed Dean's now-infamous post-Iowa address and taken... More

Hey, Wasn�t There A Primary Campaign Going On?

With the conventional wisdom telling us that John Kerry's got the nomination all but wrapped up, most bloggers are feeling... More

Hang Tough, Road Warriors

Meryl Gordon in the current issue of New York magazine lets us in on the travails of a life trailing... More

Time’s Know-Nothings

This week's Time magazine includes a piece by Mark Thompson and James Carney billed as "Absence in Alabama: As Bush's... More

The Floodgates Open

On "Meet the Press" yesterday, Tim Russert brought the dispute over records of President Bush's military service front and center... More

Meet the (Virtual) Press

Editor's note: Today, we launch a brief, daily summary of notable commentary from the political blogosphere. You'll be able to... More

Walking the Beat

Sen. John Kerry's performance in this weekend's primaries has his Republican opponents sharpening their swords. It has been widely reported... More

The New York Review of Books Lays Out the Press’s Pre-Iraq Failures

Early in his hour-long interview with President Bush on "Meet the Press" today, Tim Russert (at this late date) took... More

Those Loopy Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theory! Quick, what goes through your mind? That LBJ was behind JFK's assassination, at the behest of Texas oilmen?... More

But Is It Good for My Career if My Candidate Tanks?

There are empty seats on the Howard Dean press bus these days, and the reporters covering the former frontrunner feel... More

The Muslim Vote

When Michigan voters caucus today, analysts may get their first measure of the strength and political leanings of a new... More

Exit Polls and Other Temptations of the Wild West

Herewith, two rounds in an exchange between Steve Lovelady, Managing Editor of Campaign Desk, and Jack Shafer, Editor-At-Large of Slate,... More

Out of the Gates on Sunday

So the handicapping has begun. We're not talking about Saturday's vote in Washington and Michigan. (That's so yesterday.) No, we're... More

AP Digs Up a Good One

John Solomon of the Associated Press has broken out his shovel and hit paydirt. In 2000, as a member of... More

Slow Pitch in the Majors

That whirring noise you're hearing from Tennessee this evening is emanating from Wesley Clark, who's explaining what he really meant... More

Shoving the Horses Into the Gate

ABC's "The Note," a daily summary of what's going on in the political media, has one of the more intriguing... More

Clark’s Campaign Makeover

ABC News's Deborah Apton, on the road with Gen. Wesley Clark, reports today on some of the Clark campaign's recent... More

Cutting Through the Tax Cut Rhetoric

Somebody screwed up on the key campaign issue of tax cuts today. Compare these two passages about Gen. Wesley Clark's... More

Not Even an Hors d’ Oeuvre for Adam?

Check out this snippy little report filed by the Associated Press's Adam Ashton. First Ashton tells us that the President... More

Premature Coronation

Remember that tall guy with the four stars on his shoulder? Madonna's pick for the presidency? What was his name... More

From Blog to Web Site to Print?

Yesterday afternoon Campaign Desk chided the National Review Online and other blogs for prematurely releasing early exit polls from yesterdays... More

Who Is That Guy Behind Al Sharpton?

While others have been busy reheating the leftover "Bush AWOL" story or rustling through archived articles about John Kerry's voting... More

An Information Deficit

In a nearly numbers-free New York Times "News Analysis" of the federal budget Elisabeth Bumiller describes the projected federal budget... More

Fabricated Controversy

Accounts of President George W. Bush's service in the National Guard re-entered the news cycle this week after Terry McAuliffe,... More

Blogs Gone Wild: Exit Poll Leak Becomes a Gusher

Campaign Desk is starting to feel like the indignant moralist who loudly informs everyone within earshot that there is nudity... More

What Part of “Until the Polls Close” Don’t You Understand?

We thought the rule was pretty clear. After the Florida fiasco in 2000, in which CBS News' Dan Rather called... More

Age of Aquarius

We've heard the pundits prognosticate long and officiously about the candidates' strengths and weaknesses. We've watched as the Democratic hopefuls... More

Positively Negative

Just like all those Iowa voters, David Broder seems to have fallen for the boyish charm of Sen. John Edwards.... More

Block That Cliche!

Call us hopeless dreamers here at Campaign Desk, but there are some cliches so hackneyed that, in our fantasies, we... More

The Post’s Phantom Polls

Thanks to an alert reader for this one. Deborah Orin of the New York Post opens her story today by... More

Super Bowl, Fox News, Slant Right

"Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade spent the weekend in Houston enjoying the Super Bowl. On Sunday, he tracked down... More

George Will Gets It Backward

This one comes courtesy of the Department of Old Myths Die Hard, and was passed on to us by an... More

Kerry’s Campaign Slips One by Tim Russert

Welcome back. Now that you know what we've suspected all along -- that Campaign Desk is at least as interesting... More

How Forbes got to $475 million - That’s what a Hong Kong investor has agreed to pay for a firm that two years ago had trouble paying its rent

Are female journalists up to the job of a Jill Abramson interview? - Reporters avoid unflattering discussion about her firing

How to check if that viral video is true - Journalists don’t always verify user-generated content, so readers need to learn how to verify what they see online

The Grand Dame of Florida reporting has retired twice, but she’s still causing trouble - A conversation with the Tampa Bay Times’ Lucy Morgan

Brick by brick - After years of shrinking ambition at The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has the paper thinking global domination


The White House deploys minders to interviews all the time (WaPo)

“Almost every officially sanctioned exchange between reporters and the proverbial ‘senior administration officials’ is conducted in the presence of a press staffer”

The down-and-dirty history of TMZ (BuzzFeed)

“TMZ’s real engine — what defines its mission, what legitimizes it and sets it apart — is a unique and controversial mix of scandal mongering and investigative journalism”

The 10 worst New Yorker longreads (Gawker)

“[A]pparently [Adam] Gopnik did not know you could bake fancy breads from France and other cultures. So he got his mom to teach him how to bake them. A fine anecdote, maybe, to tell a friend or a therapist. But in this case he wrote about it for the New Yorker, a magazine.”

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

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Questions and exercises for journalism students.