Wednesday, January 18, 2017. Last Update: Fri 2:51 PM EST

Monthly Archive

July 2004

Philip Gourevitch on “Flagging” Talking Points, Conflating Character and Personality, and Petty Press Fusses

Philip Gourevitch (courtesy of The New Yorker) Philip Gourevitch has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since... More

Everyone’s a Critic

Reporting on the kickoff of John Kerry's coast-to-coast campaign swing which begins today, Darlene Superville of the Associated Press writes:... More

Vision, In the Eye of the Beholder

John Kerry's speech at the Democratic National Convention last night generated some strong views -- pro and con -- but... More

The Air War

Hannity v. Garofalo. (Thomas Lang) BOSTON -- A crowd of reporters, fans, and enemies gather around the table. A... More

A Day in the Life of CNN’s Political Coverage

Campaign Desk decided to watch an evening of CNN's convention coverage, and identify where it went astray. It wasn't hard.... More

Swimming On the Ocean Floor

By Brian Montopoli BOSTON -- This may be a convention for the Democrats and a convention for the media, but... More

Putting the Polls in Their Place

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney inadvertently shined the spotlight this morning on the fickle nature of polls, pollsters and... More

Old But Still Ugly

Wouldn't it be swell if journalists actually assisted readers and viewers in sorting through the claims and counterclaims coming from... More

A Few Stories for Idea-challenged Reporters in Boston

We generally don't practice prescriptive journalism, except by indirection, but some of our readers do. Slightly abridged, here is a... More

Party ‘Til You Drop

It was John Edwards' night last night and the reviews were almost unanimous, with Atrios summing it up best: "I... More

Deadline Looming? Taxi!

If journalists can't find news at the Democratic Convention -- and, it seems, no one can -- they can always... More

Whiffing on Warner’s Warning

Sometimes reporters need to be a little more skeptical about just why a certain story is coming along at a... More

Fahrenheit 24/7

BOSTON -- Michael Moore is late, as usual. But the crowd gathered in Cambridge for the Take Back America rally,... More

The Big (Press) Tent

BOSTON -- Hollywood stars often demand riders in their contracts guaranteeing themselves everything from posh trailers on film sets to... More

All Circuses, No Bread

Tim Rutten, the Los Angeles Times' media critic, got right to the point today: The most serious problem confronting the... More

Celebrities, Stars and Sore Throats

It was Barack Obama's night and morning-after in blog land -- and the reviews were (predictably) breathless. Josh Marshall set... More

You Can Set Your Watch By It

Two days on, the press is still nattering about the incident that, to some reporters' minds, vindicates the storyline they... More

Inside the Bucket

BOSTON -- One of the odd things about the convention is that even the meta-stories -- the pieces about what... More

Nautical Nonsense

It's no surprise, as Democrats gather in Boston, that John Kerry is the man of the hour in this week's... More

Lights, Camera, Bloggers

Show time, boys and girls. Now that you've had your moment in the spotlight, it's time to earn your keep,... More

Capturing the Kennedys

Chasing down two young Kennedys. (Thomas Lang) BOSTON -- For the press, it was a photo op made in... More

Bloggers Come to the Zoo - And Discover They’re the Ones on Display

BOSTON -- Forty or so bloggers, clad in everything from coats and ties to jeans and t-shirts, gathered for breakfast... More

The First Casualty of War Is Truth

As we've noted before, Iraq is shaping up to be the defining issue in this presidential election. That's why it's... More

Preaching to the Choir

The role of religion in this year's presidential race has been the subject of considerable discussion. Given that sixty percent... More

Those Were the Days, My Friends

With all the hoopla surrounding the start of the Democratic National Convention, it's nice to be brought back to earth... More

Anger Management

In a page one, above-the-fold story today, Adam Nagourney and David Rosenbaum of The New York Times tantalize us with... More

Thinking Outside the Box

Uh-oh, we were afraid of this. "With nothing happening at the Democratic convention -- and too many journalists with little... More

Field Trip!

As everyone knows by now, bloggers are making their debut at the Democratic National Convention, and Campaign Desk awoke early... More

Weapons-Grade Cliche

The secret's out: Teresa Heinz Kerry is John Kerry's "secret weapon," the Agence France Presse reports today. This sounded all... More

The Man Behind the Makeup

While some news outlets have taken the last few days before the convention to give a long, searching look at... More

Jill Abramson on Fox News, “attack politics,” and the influence of the New York Times

Jill Abramson has been one of two managing editors at the New York Times for 11 months. Prior to that,... More

Expectations Great and Small

With just four days until Swifty the donkey makes his Boston debut, the convention-related expectations stakes is well underway. The... More

Talking Talking Points

Ever since Jon Stewart did that "keeping up on current events is hard" segment last week, seems everyone is talking... More

Treeing the Wrong Fox

How does a non-denial become a denial? Easy -- the press starts reading between the lines and presenting inference as... More

Rich Men, Poor Coverage

David E. Sanger's writeup of President Bush's visit to Cedar Rapids, Iowa caught our eye today for doing something campaign... More

Bubble-itis, Boredom, and Bathroom Buddies - the Life of a Campaign Reporter

Last night, Campaign Desk tuned in to the Discovery/Times Channel's documentary, "Politics & The Media" -- enticed as much by... More

Milking Your Sources

Whether he realized it or not, Sam Stoltzfus of Gordonville, Pa., recently joined the ranks of national political correspondents. His... More

“Hunger”-ing for the Facts

An alert reader pointed out to us that, in reviewing an upcoming CIA report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction,... More

Polling Gone Wild

Anyone who has even remotely followed the campaign this year knows that the amount of polling data flowing out of... More

Today’s Special: Grilled Berger, With a Side of Speculation

BergerGate is burning up the blogosphere this morning. In a contortionistic feat, Andrew Sullivan manages, in one short post, to... More

Newsweek: In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

We were pleased to see Newsweek devote an online article to taking a critical look at the news media's campaign... More

Checking Out on Challenging Cheney

Yesterday, Vice President Cheney campaigned at Boone County Lumber Co. and Boone County Millwork in Columbia, Missouri, in the heart... More

Chant and Pose Voters

Journalists on the hunt for the latest and greatest swing voter, take note of Michael Ordona's piece in today's Los... More

Hello, Sweetheart. Get Me Caviar

About 15,000 members of the news media are expected to descend upon the Republican National Convention in New York City... More

“Nevuh Go Against Da Family”

Last week, it was John Edwards' moment in the newsweekly sun. This week, the subject is the guy who hopes... More

Sign of the Times: Making the Los Angeles Times’ Front Page

The Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2004 (click for larger image) In an election year, it is the front... More

There Are Republicans, and Then There Are “Republicans”

Here's another entry in the "promising more than you can deliver" file. Covering the fallout from Ron Reagan's decision to... More

All The News That Blow-Dries We Print

Anchorman, the new movie about fictional 1970s local TV anchor Ron Burgundy, made The New York Times' Frank Rich laugh... More

Tony Blair, Elizabeth Edwards and “Normal People”

Monday mornings mean, among other things, that there's an entire weekend's worth of press output over which "pretend journalists" can... More

And the Line of the Week Award Goes To …

Allesandra Stanley, writing in The New York Times: Nothing on network television is as smart, original and amusing as "Entourage,"... More

What’s Asa Doing Here?

In crafting their stories, many political journalists follow a simple formula: report on the controversy du jour, make a few... More

Points for Pointing Out Press Parroting Points

Last night, "The Daily Show"'s John Stewart tickled Campaign Desk's fancy with his segment on two of our pet topics:... More

Pssst, Have You Heard The One About

Everybody's talking about it, from conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh to the National Journal's Vaughn Ververs. The it is yesterday's front-page... More

Defective Smoke Alarm

In today's New York Times, Carl Hulse considers the attempt by Republican congressional candidates to use the issue of gay... More

Jeff Chiu on Dramamine, Access, and Punch Lines

Jeff Chiu Jeff Chiu has been a photographer with the Associated Press in San Francisco since October 2003. He... More

Softballs for the Prez, Cookies for the Press

Last week, the National Journal's William Powers wondered why the political press doesn't cover campaign events like the highly staged... More

One Man’s Flip Is Another Man’s Flop

The Bush campaign has been remarkably successful at getting the press to buy the notion that John Kerry is a... More

A Not-So-Babe in the Woods

Seems like just yesterday that the media was fretting over the burning question: Teresa Heinz Kerry, political asset or ticking... More

Enter the Nuge?

Mike Ditka announced yesterday that he won't face Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate race, and now Taegan Goddard is... More

In the War Room

Two reporters from big-shot newspapers were, to the certain envy of their peers everywhere, granted one-day backstage passes to the... More

Our Roving Reporter

President Bush won New Hampshire in 2000 by just over 7000 votes, and the state is quietly shaping up to... More

Of Dogs, Celebs, and a CBS Pratfall

Yesterday was a bad day for one tough-talking Texan, reviled both by Bostonians and New Yorkers -- as well as... More

Post Asks a Real Question, Supplies Real Answers

John Kerry's selection of John Edwards has generated a veritable cottage industry of "he said/she said" stories about the aspiring... More

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

No need to read both Newsweek and Time in your dentist's waiting room this week. Once again, the two newsweeklies... More

Basic Reporting

During the campaign season, Ohio has been a favorite stop of the nation's journalists, seeking to probe the moods and... More

Inspection Misdirection

Covering a speech by President Bush in Tennessee today, in which the president defended his decision to invade Iraq, Deb... More

Al Gore Meets the Press - Again

Four years ago, Al Gore the candidate was variously portrayed as wooden, dull, robot-like, insincere, and lacking in passion. Maybe... More

Press Can’t Keep Hands Off Non-Story

Every day, campaign "stories" (or storylines) concocted in the shadowy back alleys of the world wide web seep into the... More

Lust in Their Hearts

One member of the Kerry family was overheard last week to confide, "I have the biggest crush on John Edwards."... More

An Echo Chamber in Every Household?

Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press argued in yesterday's New York Times... More

Monday, Monday, Can’t Trust That Day

It's Monday. Ergo, it's fluff time. The Washington Post's Lois Romano is the latest to deliver, in today's profile entitled... More

The Times Puts on Its Clown Suit

With the nation, or at least its leaders, more polarized than we've seen in a while, The New York Times'... More

Dennis Roddy on the Veep Announcement, Why Pittsburgh is Really a Midwestern City, and Free Beer

Dennis B. Roddy Dennis B. Roddy is a syndicated columnist and reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has covered... More

A Summer Surprise?

The trouble with reporting on shady political schemes is that they usually can't be proven. You need a Deep Throat,... More

Where Men Are Men, and Editorials Are Toxic

For those of us committed to monitoring the media, writing about the Washington Times often feels like wrestling a cloud.... More

The Oreo Factor

When John Edwards' name was proposed as a running mate for John Kerry, the prospect that the younger man might... More

Sorry, We’ve Gone to the Movies

Imagine, for a moment, a political press corps that approached and covered presidential campaigns like the high-budget Hollywood spectacles that... More

The Witt and Wisdom of the Campaign Press

We were browsing through the Orlando Sentinel when we came across a piece by reporter Mark Silva about John Edwards'... More

Cheney Invades Blogosphere

As we reported earlier today, the Jaws of campaign coverage -- speculation about candidates' choice of running mates -- is... More

Houston, You Have a Problem

From today's Houston Chronicle: An editorial in Wednesday's Chronicle carelessly referred to Sen. John Kerry in one reference as "President... More

Cheney Ready for … What?

Forget the July weather. We see a snowball taking shape. Just when we thought it was safe to go back... More

Putting Words in the Candidate’s Mouth

President Bush made himself available for a few questions from the press this morning, and, not surprisingly, reporters were champing... More

Wherein We Introduce the Eight W’s of Journalism

Campaign stories tend to be of two types: Random anecdotes gathered from "typical" voters, who utter pithy quotes that conveniently... More

Elizabeth Edwards Gets the Once-Over Lightly

A vacuum yawns before the campaign press. With the veepstakes at last put to bed, how ever will political reporters... More

Edwards Scores High on Mom-O-Meter

A four-day weekend, followed by VP announcement = blog-o-sphere heaven. So let's get right to it: Kerry's selection of Edwards... More

Which AP Will Your Paper Print?

Sen. John Edwards' victory in the veepstakes came at an inopportune moment in the news cycle and most outlets, aside... More

WSJ Cuts Through the Hoopla

Alan Murray is a former Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal and he still writes the occasional column... More

C Is For Cookie (Or Maybe C-Minus)

While pundits digest the news of a Kerry-Edwards ticket (and regurgitate both campaigns' talking points on the matter), Campaign Desk... More

Just In: President Curses, Wives Cheat, Republicans Can’t Write

According to U.S. News & World Report's "Washington Whispers," Vice President Cheney isn't the only White House occupant with a... More

“Bring Out The Fire-breathing Dragon”

So, will the speechifying Al Gore get prime time at the upcoming Democratic National Convention? And, if so, what should... More

The AP Reverts to Form

All together now, class: The total number of net jobs lost since George Bush took office in January 2001 is... More

Baring Baron

Just how fast does the Republican National Committee's opposition research machine kick into gear? We found out this morning. Literally... More

NY Post Goes Out on Limb, Which Promptly Snaps

The New York Post, July 6, 2004 (AP) As you may know by now, New Yorkers awoke this morning... More

Endangered Species: The Crusading Press

By Brian Montopoli In July of 1963, Newsweek became the first major newsmagazine to put the face of an unknown... More

Dan Kennedy on Mickey Kaus, the Boston Press, and the Red Sox

Dan Kennedy and his daughter Becky Dan Kennedy is a senior writer and media critic for the Boston Phoenix,... More

Press Pack Chases Wrong Dog Up Wrong Tree

A week ago, Republican Jack Ryan was forced to drop out of the Senate race in Illinois after unseemly and... More

Reporters Touch Down in Small Towns

On Monday, Campaign Desk pointed to a Washington Post piece nominating the "hook and bullet" crowd (hunting and fishing enthusiasts,... More

Night of the Living Veeps

What is it about John Kerry's unexceptional search for a running mate that attracts members of the press corps like... More

Summer Infestation Descends Upon Canton, Ohio

By Susan Q. Stranahan In 1996, long before the Clinton-Dole race for the White House shifted into full throttle, New... More

CNN Leads in Pointless Story Stakes, But Reuters Is Gaining Fast

So far this campaign season has been a major player in Campaign Desk's ongoing count of vacuous stories pointlessly... More

Press Girds Loins as Big Time Leaves Undisclosed Location

The vice president, it seems, has cursed his way back onto reporters' radar screens. Whether prompted by the f-word episode... More

Target: Campaign Desk

Mickey Kaus' disdain for John Kerry has now become so delusional that he has begun to assume that Kerry's own... 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

  • If you like the magazine, get the rest of the year for just $19.95 (6 issues in all).
  • If not, simply write cancel on the bill and return it. You will owe nothing.

Who Owns What

The Business of Digital Journalism

A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Study Guides

Questions and exercises for journalism students.