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Monthly Archive

April 2004

Shadowy Business

Ever wonder how campaign reporters, particularly those not on any big-shot's Blackberry, get that instantaneous comment from the opposition? John... More

Follow the Bouncing Ball

For the past two weeks or so, we've watched as a largely press-manufactured story has made its way from a... More

A Modest Proposal

By Zachary Roth Both the Bush and Kerry campaigns are deep into mud-slinging already this campaign season, with no sign... More

Michael Kranish on Kerry’s Military Records and Power Walks with George H. W. Bush

Michael Kranish Michael Kranish has reported from the Boston Globe's Washington D.C. bureau for the last 16 years. He... More

The Story Behind the Stereotype Story

By Liz Cox Barrett On Monday The Washington Post introduced readers to one Britton Stein of Sugar Land, Texas, in... More

Reality Check for the Big Boys

There are two worlds in politics, the real and the stage-managed. Reporters ceaselessly seeking the angle of the moment can... More

Dems Get Defensive, GOP Parties Down

It’s been a while since we’ve taken a look at the pilot fish blogs of the candidates themselves, so today... More

Chasing Demons

The winner of the election that the Los Angeles Times has described as "a proxy fight over the GOP's ideological... More

Never Say Never

"Hardball With Chris Matthews" is celebrating its 7th anniversary, and to mark the occasion it's lined up an all-star list... More

The Case That Wasn’t There

This week in the Village Voice, the ever-irascible James Ridgeway declares that "John Kerry Must Go." We were interested to... More

Raining on Kerry’s Parade

Perhaps aware that April showers soon give way to May flowers, the blogosphere turned cumulous this morning and rained insults... More

Sometimes the Obvious Answer is the Answer

On today's Politics & Policy page of The Wall Street Journal, Allan Murray takes on (subscription required) the question of... More

Shadow Lobbying

By Susan Q. Stranahan A largely behind-the-scenes lobbying effort is underway that could affect the manner in which campaigns are... More

You Wear What You Are

In reporting on Sen. John Kerry's appearance in Wheeling, West Virginia yesterday, The Charleston Daily Mail's Josh Hafenbrack briefly touched... More

Regional Focus, National Focus

Four hours, a million bucks, and a policy speech. That sums up George Bush's visit to Minnesota yesterday. And depending... More

Sultry Teresa, Lucky Shrum, Gloomy Chait

The media may not have a handle on John Kerry just yet, but the Teresa Heinz Kerry storyline has been... More

Whose Economy?

In today's USA Today Susan Page takes a look at how the economy might factor into this year's presidential election.... More

Battlefield Plans

For months, the national media has spoon-fed us this wisdom: Ohio is a make-or-break state for the Kerry campaign. Why... More

Gary Hart, Monica, the Primal Scream - and What’s Next

By Brian Montopoli Sixteen years ago, Paul Taylor of The Washington Post covered one of the most contentious presidential elections... More

Kerry vs. Cheney, and the Crowd is Split

Sen. John Kerry is set to unleash the campaign attack dogs on Vice President Cheney this week and the amateur... More

Flying Close To the Ground

By Zachary Roth We've been wondering lately how things are going on the ground in the swing states expected to... More

Reporters Stampeded by Alligator

On Tuesday, Sen. John Kerry spoke on several environmental issues in Tampa, Florida, and took questions -- one of which... More

Ron Brownstein on Tail Winds, Floorboards, and Butterfly Wings

Ron Brownstein Ron Brownstein is the national political correspondent and a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and an... More

Hurt In The Fog of War

By Thomas Lang How many ways can the press distort the picture painted by John Kerry's military service records? Yesterday,... More

In Hot Pursuit of … Folly

Yesterday we reported on a four alarm veepstakes flare-up. Today, The Boston Globe's Patrick Healy does his best to keep... More

Sailboat Racer (Who Speaks French!) Releases War Records

Yesterday, John Kerry released a number of his military records, days after being prodded to do so by Tim Russert... More

Bloggers Ponder … Each Other

Instapundit, who loves nothing more than stories about conservative blogs, highlights a piece on which argues that, "The GOP's... More

Quelle Horreur!

Campaign Desk has been curious for a while now about what happened to the story of President Bush's Vietnam-era service... More

Lost in the Fog of War Records

This past Sunday on "Meet the Press," Sen. John Kerry pledged to release all his available military records, a la... More

Locked and Loaded

In an otherwise excellent piece on the internal dynamics of the Kerry campaign, Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post twice... More

Reporters Track … Mystery Reporter

Sen. John Edwards' appearance with Sen. John Kerry at a Florida "pool party" last evening stoked the veepstakes flames anew.... More

Of Planted Questions, Rumsfeld, and Dead Parrots

One consequence of the president holding so few news conferences is that the ones he does hold generate an inordinate... More

Cutting Through the Flack

Yesterday, John Kerry's campaign released three new ads, and the Bush campaign, in typical fashion, was quick to respond. In... More

Karen Ryan, Revisited

A fresh development in the Karen Ryan saga today, courtesy of NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen: The Public Relations Society... More

Why, Yes, I Think I Will

Campaign Desk recognizes that listening to the same campaign speech 103 times a month might get a bit stale for... More

Correction Time at the Washington Times

As Campaign Desk noted yesterday, Tim Russert drudged up old news Sunday when he pressed Kerry to stand by his... More

“Bring Me Some Republican Brains, Igor”

You knew we couldn't pass up this one. This morning, The New York Times brings us a story from the... More

Bush: Admirably Strong or Disturbingly Stubborn? Cheney: Implacable Rasputin or Affable Uncle?

Newsweek's major campaign story for the April 26 issue, "The Gospel according to George," plays along the Bush is "strong-but-stubborn"... More

Paris Hilton, Swing Voter?

Single women are this election's hot demographic, The Washington Post's Paul Farhi informed readers yesterday. Specifically, the "massive and largely... More

Russert Throws Party, Serves Leftovers

Tim Russert of NBC's "Meet the Press" has earned respect for his straightforward interview style and blunt questions, and yesterday... More

Repentant Hawks and Right-Wing Conspiracies

Of the many differences between Matthew Yglesias and President Bush, the latest to come to light is Yglesias's apparent willingness... More

Anybody Get The License Number of That Truck?

Every reporter learns early on that two different witnesses to a vehicular accident often offer wildly different descriptions. John Kerry... More

Putting a Sock In It

Column-writing is a brutal occupation. The beast is insatiable; it must be constantly fed. Some days you can serve up... More

Verbs? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Verbs

In the head-over-heels rush to get on-line, Web site editors sometimes push the "publish" button before they've checked to see... More

Bill Sammon on Querying the “Delegator-in-Chief,” Being a “Must-Call,” and Fielding His All-Reporter Dream Team

Bill Sammon has been the White House correspondent for The Washington Times since 1998 and a political analyst for Fox... More

Imaginary Games, Imaginary Claims

If playing a video game in which you're in control of an automatic weapon-wielding President Bush who kills terrorists as... More

Catholic Consequence

Yesterday afternoon Sen. John Kerry took a break from his usual campaign duties and slotted 45-minutes to meet with Cardinal... More

Bloggers Go Global

Amy Elizabeth Sullivan at PoliticalAims (who confesses a fondness for hockey over media gaggles) is still mulling some of George... More

Dick Morris Can Still Whirl a Reporter or Two

It's a slow day here at Campaign Desk. How slow? Well, we're actually reading the New York Post's "Page Six"... More

Setting a Storyline in Concrete

One thing has become clear since Tuesday night's presidential press conference: Big-name reporters have settled on the conventional wisdom to... More

Walking It Back - and Then Running Away

Last week, Slate media critic (and occasional Campaign Desk sparring partner) Jack Shafer penned an excellent piece describing how "60... More

The Day After, The Tax Man Cometh

A day after the post-Bush press conference cyber-frenzy, poli-bloggers as a group appear to have rolled over, sighed in exhaustion... More

Mis-taking Bush’s Take

Last night's Presidential press conference unleashed a press contingent intent on forcing President Bush to admit to mistakes made during... More

Some News That Was Fit to Print

Thanks to Michael Tomasky, writing on the American Prospect's Web site, for this one, about some real news that a... More

Fishing With the President

Campaign Desk thought the press did a pretty good job questioning President Bush during last night's prime time news conference... More

Off the Charts

There has been much speculation in the media over whether the White House decides in advance of televised presidential press... More

Rating the Prez & His Press

The bulk of the Blog World undoubtedly is sleeping in this morning, having been up so late last night venting,... More

An Iconclast in Texas

With the exquisite timing of a smart businessman, W. Leon Smith founded The Lone Star Iconoclast, Crawford, Texas' only newspaper,... More

Evidence? You Want Evidence?

Here's another entry for our burgeoning "unsupported lede" contest: In the fourth paragraph of a Sunday New York Times piece... More

Ready for Prime Time

George Bush's third prime-time press conference, scheduled for this evening, sent bloggers racing to their keyboards. Describing the president's decision... More

Did You See the Same Movie We Saw?

By Zachary Roth Partisan writers toiling away at opinion journals are entitled to partisan arguments. (New York Times Op-Ed columnist... More

Accounting 101

It's a good thing New York Times reporter Glen Justice isn't keeping the books over at the Kerry or Bush... More

Thumbsuckers Switch Thumbs

While CNN and the Washington Post (among others) continue to focus on the veep-stakes -- and the latest odds for... More

Turning Up the Heat on Kerry

While much of the blog world is still busy parsing the language of the most famous Presidential Daily Briefing ever... More

Some Battleground

At the conclusion of a March post investigating the ever-changing definition of a campaign cliché -- "battleground states" -- we... More

Alexandra Marks On Dean’s Downfall, Reporting On Her Former Boss, and “Firing” Lieberman

Alexandra Marks Alexandra Marks is a New York-based senior correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor where she has worked... More

Getting It First, Not Right

Has the White House agreed to follow the 9/11 commission's recommendation and declassify the much-discussed Aug. 6, 2001 Presidential Daily... More

A Reader Scrutinizes the Dance

Editor's Note: With this entry, we inaugurate the occasional publication of letters to Campaign Desk that we find informative, provocative... More

Whole Lotta Tree-Shakin’ Going On?

While some are tired of fly-swatting, many sphere-dwellers are doing their best to exterminate the pests creating the post-Rice testimony... More

“Style” Over Substance

Tom Shales' Washington Post Style piece on Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 Commission yesterday is so far off the... More

Taxing the Rich

Almost buried in the papers by the horror of the unfolding Iraq story and the fanfare anticipating Condoleezza Rice's testimony... More

AP: Speed Kills

Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 commission is the big story of the day (and maybe the month), and how... More

American-Statesman’s “Great Divide” Part II

The bedrock of American democracy -- the give and take of ideas among voters with disparate beliefs -- is rapidly... More

It’s Group Hug Time in the Blogosphere

It's game day as National Security Adviser Condaleezza Rice goes to the mound against the lineup of the 9/11 Commission,... More

Touting Home-Grown Polls

In January, New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent vented his frustration over the practice of media organizations (including his... More

Going the Extra Inch

While the rest of the media is in full battle mode today speculating about national security advisor Condoleezza Rice's testimony... More

NBC: Facts Check In, But They Don’t Check Out

Yesterday, we gave a failing grade to NBC News' attempt to "fact check" political ads attacking President Bush. Last night,... More

Say Kids, What Time is It?

In a headline reminiscent of the Howdy Doody Show theme song (feel free to sing along, now) Electablog's Dave Pell... More

“Math Class Is Tough” For the Press

Last month the press corps, particularly the Associated Press, struggled to recount the accurate number of jobs lost so far... More

Checking Out When It Comes to the Facts

Last night, Campaign Desk was excited to see NBC announce a segment fact-checking the latest political ads. But the network's... More

Background Noise

Regular readers of Campaign Desk know we have a thing about anonymous sources -- and some gripes about how new... More

You Talkin’ to Me?

The President traveled to the Tar Heel State on Monday, accompanied by the usual press entourage. Polibloggers, as far as... More

Glover in No Hurry, Nagourney Moving Fast

Remember the scene from the movie "Annie Hall" in which Woody Allen's psychiatrist asks him about the frequency of his... More

Tax and Bend

This piece by Pete Yost of the Associated Press must be music to President Bush's ears. After describing a speech... More

Anonymous Rears His Ugly Head

In a Newsweek Web-exclusive column, Richard Wolffe attempts to make the case that John Kerry's campaign has reacted skillfully to... More

The Austin American-Statesman Shows the Wai

Nationwide, America appears to be almost equally divided, with Democrats and Republicans in a 50-50 balance. If nothing else, that... More

Waffles, Veepstakes and a Quiz

Duck! It's bombs away in the blogosphere this morning, and the target is Google. It's dyspepsia payback time over at... More

Where We Are, How We Got Here

By Susan Q. Stranahan Is this presidential election campaign being covered any differently, or any better, than past campaigns? While... More

Anderson Cooper on Deconstructing Photo-Ops and Causing International Incidents

CNN's Anderson Cooper(CNN/Eccles) Anderson Cooper is the anchor of "Anderson Cooper 360," which appears on weeknights on CNN. He... More

Rove Calls, CNN Salutes, We Grow Weary

We really, truly, honestly, all kidding aside, did not declare this "Pound On CNN Week" here at Campaign Desk. But... More

CNN Stands by Peel Back; White House Mum; Letterman Unconvinced

The kid - Tyler Crotty(AP Wideworld/Craig Litten) Last night we told you that CBS and CNN were not seeing... More

Taking Us Behind the Scenes

The Washington Post's David Finkel today has a fascinating behind-the-scenes-at-the-Bureau-of-Labor-Statistics article in which he describes the run-up to the release... More

Who’s Angry?

The New York Times resurrects the Valerie Plame story today, and once again lefty bloggers smell blood. Unfortunately for them,... More

AP Evolves Before Our Very Eyes

Thanks to the Poynter Institute's Matt Thompson, who passed along one of his colleague's observations about a rather striking inconsistency... More

Letterman vs. CNN vs. the White House, Cont’d

The kid - Tyler Crotty(AP Wideworld/Craig Litten) Earlier today we posted our interim verdict on the Dave Letterman vs.... More

Gaming the Media 101

By Liz Cox Barrett Any political campaign advisor worth his six-figure paycheck knows how to game the media. For example,... More

Putting Us There

Of this, voters in Ohio can be certain: Before November, they'll see plenty of the candidates and their surrogates. As... More

Inside Baseball

Who'da thunk it? Campaign Desk tips its hat to a story from the sports section. The piece, by Jon Sawyer... More

The Sole of the Campaign

Every once in a while here at Campaign Desk we amaze ourselves with our ability to spot trends long before... More

No Nuance on Nader

Is Ralph Nader really a stalking horse for the Republicans? Will his presence in the 2004 equation help or hurt... More

CNN Does Its White House Imitation

By Thomas Lang A minor stew has brewed this week between David Letterman, CNN, and the White House over the... More

Franken Gets Air, Kerry Gets Down & Bush Gets Rich

Liberal radio network Air America kicked off yesterday with Al Franken's show, "The O'Franken Factor," and reviews are about what... More

New survey reveals everything you think about freelancing is true - Data from Project Word quantifies challenges of freelance investigative reporting

Why one editor won’t run any more op-eds by the Heritage Foundation’s top economist - A reply to Paul Krugman on state taxes and job growth made some incorrect claims

Why we ‘stave off’ colds - It all started with wine

The New Republic, then and now - Tallying the staff turnover at the overhauled magazine

Why serious journalism can coexist with audience-pleasing content - Legacy media organizations should experiment with digital platforms while continuing to publish hard news

The rise of feelings journalism (TNR)

“Bloom engaged in an increasingly popular style of writing, which I’ve discussed on my blog before, which I call “feelings journalism.” It involves a writer making an argument based on what they imagine someone else is thinking, what they feel may be another person’s feelings. The realm of fact, of reporting, has been left behind.”

Things a war correspondent should never say (WSJ)

“The correspondent retelling war stories surely knows that fellow correspondents had faced the same dangers or worse”

On WaPo trying to interview a cow (National Journal)

“‘I wasn’t milked on the White House lawn by a strange man,’ The Washington Post—the venerable institution that would later come to break the Watergate scandal and win 48 Pulitzers—quoted her, a farm animal, as saying”


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

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