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Monthly Archive

June 2004

Washington Times Takes It a Slur Too Far

The Washington Times is owned by fringe religious leader Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who, in addition to having been saluted... More

The Times Falls for Bum Numbers

Last week we reported on two Cincinnati papers which bought John Kerry's dubious spin on the government's official unemployment numbers.... More

Kristof Gets an Earful from the Addled

Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times's globetrotting columnist, must have popped into Manhattan on home leave recently, and gotten an... More

The Yankees, the Olsens, and the Veepstakes

Mickey Kaus isn't happy with The New York Times's write-up yesterday of its own NYT/CBS poll. The Times chose the... More

Says Who? Says You

It's only Wednesday, but The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson is already in the hunt for this week's unsupported lead prize.... More

The Mis-Education of Nedra Pickler

When the going gets tough, reporters too often check out. Covering a speech by John Kerry today on higher education,... More

Profiles in Source Greasing

Having done the veepstakes to death, awaiting the conventions or another naughty word from a White House official, what's a... More


It's Veep Week at the news magazines, which give us news on the veepstakes, words from the current veep himself,... More

Un-covering the News

Last week, Newsweek's cover story was ... turmoil in Iraq? Tightening election campaign in the U.S.? Startling news on the... More

Breathing Life Into the Dreaded Issue Story

It's difficult to find too many people -- inside or outside of journalism -- who don't periodically profess the noble... More

Animal House

This morning, USA Today's Jim Drinkard exposes 527s, those independent political groups named for the election law that prompted their... More

Hooking This Week’s Cliche

Every few weeks, campaign reporters go fishing for the new new thing -- that elusive cluster of voters with a... More

Michael Moore, Evangelical Christians, and “Avant-Garde Nightclubs”

For those of you who were too distracted by the surprise early-handover-of-sovereignty-in-Iraq decision to notice, Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" came... More

Kerry: Beauty and the Beast

By Liz Cox Barrett Once upon a time, not so very long ago, there was a senator named John who... More

The New York Times Introduces the Song of Summer

It's summer, which means an insipid yet strangely irresistible new pop song should soon find its way onto radio stations... More

Ted Rall on the Ax Versus the Rapier

Ted Rall Ted Rall is a syndicated political cartoonist, columnist, author and blogger who describes himself as a "neo-traditionalist"... More

Can’t Anyone Here Play This Game?

Back in mid-May the Quinnipiac Polling Institute released a New Jersey poll that depicted a close race between President Bush... More

It’s Summertime, and the Fishin’ Is Easy

Yesterday, CNN featured on its main page a Mark Gongloff-penned piece trying to hang President Bush's chances of being reelected... More

Startling Idea: “Trust the People”

Blogger Brad DeLong is in a semantic frame of mind. Specifically, he wants to teach reporters a lesson in economic... More

And Once Again, the Fish in the Barrel Is … the Washington Times!

Yesterday Campaign Desk pointed out the press' affinity for the optimism v. pessimism storyline as the candidates labor to spin... More

Dog Bites Man in Nevada

Check out the lede to this story in today's Las Vegas Review-Journal: "A chief strategist for John Kerry's campaign said... More

Inside the Ad War Room

Michael Crowley in this week's New York magazine takes a detailed and fascinating look at 527s, the allegedly non-partisan political... More

Kurtz Chooses the Circus

Wonder why it's so hard for candidates to get substantive messages into the press (and perhaps why politics is being... More

Footwear and Fudgies

Beware of making a big deal of flip-flops during a campaign; it can come back to haunt you. That's the... More

P is for Press Corps, Which Drowned in the Spin

Ah, optimism. As Michael Kinsley points out in today's Los Angeles Times, it's "pretty insufficient as either a campaign promise... More

Polling Partisans, or Partisan Polling?

How many Republicans are enough? That's the question that's emerged from the Los Angeles Times' poll of June 5-8, which... More

We Can See Clearly Now

Last night, Campaign Desk attended a forum entitled "War, Elections, and the News Media: Who Controls the Story?" sponsored by... More

Those Blurry Flyover States

Last week, The American Prospect's Matthew Yglesias mistakenly identified Ohio as a state that is "next door" to Missouri. He... More

Clinton Exhales

Most of the good parts of "My Life," Bill Clinton's 957-page memoir, have already come out in the last week... More

David Brooks, Master of the Amazing Unsupported Assumption

David Brooks, writing on the Op-Ed page of this morning's New York Times, thinks that John Kerry is in trouble... More

Mea Culpa - Let the Games Begin

In the wake of critical examinations of The New York Times' coverage of the Bush administration's case for war by... More

Bloggers Flay Each Other

Kevin Drum donned his Campaign Desk hat yesterday and took a swipe at the media, throwing in a little background... More

Lou Dobbs Offers Half a Loaf

Last week we revealed that CNN's Lou Dobbs, who uses his nightly news show to finger corporations which outsource jobs,... More

Parroting the President

Conservatives, including the vice president himself, have been quick to attack press coverage of the 9/11 Commission's finding that there... More

Are We There Yet?

Contrary to what many believe, the media can take marching orders. On Thursday, in response to questions about his ongoing... More

Deborah Orin on Snobby Broadsheets, a Non-Palsy White House, and Stories that Write Themselves

Deborah Orin Deborah Orin has been The New York Post's Washington, D.C. bureau chief since 1988, and has covered every... More

The Hispanic Press: Still Waiting for Bush and Kerry

Seven million Hispanics will vote in the November presidential elections, a million more than in 2000, and according to a... More

Press Backpedals, Prez Peddles, Bloggers Puzzle

At The Captain's Quarters, Captain Ed goes Campaign Desk today, pounding the press for its coverage of the John-McCain-as-potential-Kerry-VP story.... More

The Two Faces of Lou Dobbs

In April, John Kerry's campaign released a TV ad attacking President Bush for supporting the export of U.S. jobs overseas.... More

Who Was That Guy in the Cape?

It's as if while we weren't looking John Kerry stepped into the phone booth as Clark Kent and emerged as... More

Sluggish Voters, Sluggish Press

The most recent Economist posed a question being pondered by many Washington insiders in regards to the Bush's handling of... More

JacketGate and Bulbs Bright and Dim

It may be the same old same old in mainstream campaign coverage this week -- stale veepstakes speculation, more on... More

Why Anonymice Multiply, In The Face of All Opposition

Jack Shafter, Slate's indefatigable press watchdog, has come up with a new theory as to why reporters, especially Washington reporters,... More

Tempted by the Kool-Aid

Today The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson reports on how recent developments -- a decline in jobless numbers, Bush's recent overtures... More

God, Landslides and eBay

Faith and the presidency is the subject of Time magazine's cover story, which poses the question, "Just how devout do... More

You Could Find It in the New York Times

In today's New York Times, Richard Stevenson, covering President Bush's trip to Missouri to tout his Medicare drug benefit, writes... More

Rumsfeld Edges Limbaugh in Close Vote

We couldn't resist this window into the mindset of several hundred newspaper columnists, who, after all, have some hand in... More

Any Name Will Do � Or Better, None at All

We have the inside on who's got the lock in the John Kerry Veepstakes. And he is...Dick Gephardt. Uh, wait.... More

Claws Are Out, Blogsters Are In

We know it's Monday, but this morning the Political Animal comes off a bit catty (which reminds us, we miss... More

Red, Blue and Reality

Is the American electorate hopelessly divided? The New York Times' John Tierney waded into those waters yesterday, asking "Do Americans... More

El Hoppo at The Washington Post

Reporters on occasion are like carnival barkers, offering more than they can deliver in an attempt to lure the unwitting... More

Okrent Knocks One Out of the Park

Yesterday, New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent turned his attention to one of Campaign Desk's pet peeves -- stories... More

At Reuters, Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Check out the first sentence of this Reuters piece from today, which is entitled "National Mourning Helps Bush Politically For... More

The Power of the Shock Jock’s Flock

Today, the New York Times' Adam Nagourney serves up a piece on the "undecided voter," that 5 percent of the... More

Amnesia, Followed Quickly By Hand-Wringing

"The media's weeklong coverage of the passing of President Reagan has produced some of the most rapturous remembrances in modern... More

Adam Smith on Brain-Picking, Mind-Boggingly Dull Campaign Events, and Tallahassee Hotels

Adam Smith Adam Smith was named the political editor of the St. Petersburg Times in 2001. He has covered... More

A Mandate from The People

While the national media's attention has focused on the race for the White House, other political stories are breaking out... More

From Mourning to Afternoon in America (Or At Least the Blogosphere)

Oddly, few bloggers are paying attention to John Ashcroft's refusal to release a document allegedly "making the point that some... More

Punching the Reheat Button

Campaign Desk saw it coming: a slow week for campaign news, the kind of week in which aimless reporters with... More

“Fire ‘em All!”

We've already done one post today about irascible readers who are so skeptical of the press that they question the... More

Whom Do You Trust?

No one, if a new poll by the Pew Research Center is any indication. Howard Kurtz reports on the poll... More

Fatuousness and Fat

The conservative corners of the blogosphere are embroiled in debate over the "fatuousness" of comparing former California Governor Ronald Reagan... More

AP Brings Out the Leftovers

It's a slow political news day, which perhaps explains why the Associated Press has just offered up one of the... More

What To Do This Week

The news media is in full dead-president-in-state mode until Friday, and President Bush and John Kerry have stopped campaigning for... More

It’s Time for a Little Pack Journalism

Today, the Los Angeles Times gives us an inexplicable piece by Nick Anderson about the relative tone of the two... More

As Goes Pittsburgh, So Goes … ?

Campaign Desk wondered what the political press would do with its time this week with both candidates off the trail... More

Remembering the Past, Pontificating About the Present, Infesting the Future

No, you're not diplopic. And the identical cover images of a grinning, cowboy-hat-and-denim-shirt-donning Ronald Reagan are just the start of... More

Taking Life Easy at Human Events

Sometimes, this whole "reporting" thing is just too easy. Late last month, the Washington Post turned its attention to some... More

Unprecedented Headline

Good catch by Michael Getler, the ombudsman at The Washington Post, who chided his colleagues yesterday for putting this headline... More

Remembering Reagan

While conservative blogs, as well as the cable news networks, are awash in glowing appraisals of Ronald Reagan's life and... More

You Win Some, You Lose Some

The perils of horse race journalism -- the fall-back position of all too many political reporters -- were demonstrated anew... More

Votes, Quotes (and Dirt), Fresh from the Oven

By Liz Cox Barrett The day after Earth Day 2004, the Republican National Committee rolled out SUV-gate. "DON'T BLAME ME... More

Through a Glass Darkly

News coverage of an event often isn't about what actually took place there. Many ostensibly objective reporters come to political... More

Spaces vs. Faces

Yesterday, during a speech in Independence, Mo., Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., promised, if elected, to add 40,000 active-duty troops to... More

Annnnd They’re Off!

As Campaign Desk was perusing our favorite daily newspaper (The Daily Racing Form) today, we discovered that 14 of 19... More

Watching The Spin At Work

The second day of the "Take Back America" conference, held this week in Washington, DC, opened with a speech by... More

Arianna Huffington on Flip-Flops, Press Herds, and What’s More Disturbing than Jayson Blair

Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington is a nationally syndicated columnist and the author of ten books, including 2004's Fanatics and... More

MSNBC Gets Punk’d

They're ba-ack! MSNBC's Michael E. Ross today discovers "Punk Republicans," an exotic species previously identified by The New York Times,... More

Catching Bush Between the Flip and the Flop

President Bush is off to France this weekend for the 60th anniversary (Sunday) of D-Day, and to hear him tell... More

Legal Tenets

It's 152 days until the election, but the voting never stops in the blogosphere, where every voice counts. And while... More

Sun Rises In The East, Kerry Said

The Associated Press's Nedra Pickler today takes "he said/she said" campaign reporting to new heights -- or depths -- in... More

Howell Raines, Political Advisor - Who Knew?

Howell Raines, the recently deposed executive editor of The New York Times today has his first in a series of... More

Lede-ing Coloradans Astray

Today's Rocky Mountain News story about President Bush's campaign fundraiser in Denver last night begins with an explosive lede --... More

More on the “Great Divide”

While most media attention this election season is focused on the run for the White House, the makeup of the... More

A Bitchy Day in the ‘Sphere

Pandagon's Jesse Taylor is more than a little agitated today about Ted Sampley, the head of Vietnam Veterans Against John... More

Press Eats It Up

We've written before about some political reporters' unseemly obsession for whatever food they run across on the campaign trail, but... More

I Like New York In June - How About You?

Alex Polier, the woman falsely accused of being John Kerry's Monica Lewinsky, tells her story in New York Magazine this... More

Jacko for VP?

Everybody loves a mystery. That can be the only explanation for the media's obsessive interest in whom John Kerry ultimately... More

Cherry-Picking Time at the Washington Times

Writing in today's Washington Times, Donald Lambro furthers the argument that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry is having difficulty... More

Didn’t Make Sense the First Time, Doesn’t Make Sense This Time

In today's Washington Post, Paul Farhi gives new life to Howard Fineman's flawed logic about "bellwether" counties. Farhi travels to... 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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