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Monthly Archive

October 2004

Why Bush Won: Our Florid Correspondent Explains Everything

Editor's Note: Campaign Desk turned loose two of its finest to write the definitive explanations of the election results --... More

Why Kerry Won: Our Equally Florid Correspondent Explains Everything

Editor's Note: Campaign Desk turned loose two of its finest to write the definitive explanations of the election results --... More

Adam Nagourney on False Equivalence, Spin Beyond Spin Rooms, and Fake Online Diaries

Adam Nagourney Adam Nagourney has been chief national political reporter at the New York Times for the past two... More

Some Voters Are More Equal Than Others

Because I turned 18 in 1999, I had a chance to vote for the first time in the 2000 general... More

CNN Insults Our Intelligence

This afternoon on CNN's "Inside Politics", anchor Judy Woodruff said the following to Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman: Let me... More

It Takes Just One Click of the Mouse

In the Washington Post today, media critic Howard Kurtz weighs in on the charges of media bias arising from the... More

Beaver State Bungle

Check out this sentence from an Associated Press roundup of the day's developments: A spate of new state polls had... More

ABC Falls for a Ploy

Thanks to a reader for this one. Last night on ABC's "World News Tonight," anchor Peter Jennings introduced a report... More

A Lonely Voice Wants Bread, Not Circuses

As the campaign winds down, and hordes of jaded journalists look toward new subjects, they'd be well advised to pause... More

True Colors Shining Through

At least two blue bloggers are seeing red this morning. While Mathew Gross swears "on [his] honor" not to draw... More

When Reporters Transcribe

At first glance, Bill Adair and Adam C. Smith's article in today's St. Petersburg Times -- headlined, "When Candidates Attack"... More

Too Close to Call

With six days to go, the list of battleground states seems to be growing ever smaller. Of the 11 states... More

May the Worst Man Lose

'Tis the season to endorse presidential candidates -- and then talk about the significance (or lack thereof) of said endorsements... More

The Horse Race Ascends

Three news outlets, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Editor & Publisher, take a look this morning at a new... More

True Confessions from Trackside

"Campaign coverage this year has looked more like reporting for a sports event than for an election to decide the... More

Sign of the Times

The New York Times has a special "Voter Guide 2004" section today. Along with statistical breakdowns of the battleground states,... More

Contagious Bug Infects Press

Just a week before the election, an epidemic has broken out. The nation's campaign press is in the throes of... More

Wolves, Orcs, and Drew Barrymore

Which presidential candidate, wonders US News & World Report, has been able to most effectively exploit our fear? As Roger... More

AP: Associated Parrots

Eight days left in the race and the Associated Press still can't bring itself to go further than he said/she... More

Daring Reporter Does

It's eight days from Election Day and the Associated Press' Nedra Pickler has the scoop of a lifetime. "During most... More

When Reporters Interview Reporters

On "Fox News Live" this morning, anchor Brigitte Quinn interviewed Paul Bedard, editor of U.S. News and World Report's Washington... More

Missing: 380 Tons of Ammo, Some Members of UN Security Council, and Talent

Today the blogosphere is consumed by three developing stories, each involving something important (or not) that suddenly, um, isn't there.... More

Tracking News That Oozes

Throughout this election season, Bill Bishop of the Austin American-Statesman has focused on numbers -- not polling data or horse... More

Calling Them What They Are

Finally, a swing voter story with substance. As regular readers of Campaign Desk know, we grab our mallets and play... More

Objects in Rear View Mirror May Appear Larger Than They Are

Countless news cycles ago, back in May, Campaign Desk chronicled a narrative then emerging in the campaign press warning that... More

Frustrated Oppo Guns Turn on Reporters, Not Candidates

In the new issue of The New Republic, Ryan Lizza reports on a "remarkable" development: the Republican National Committee's decision... More

Lee Horwich on Gallup, Inside-the-Beltway Buzz and Pay Raises

Lee Horwich Lee Horwich was named political editor of USA Today in August 2003. He joined USA Today as... More

Taking Pot Shots

Some mornings, it just doesn't get any easier than this. Assignment: Cover a photo-op. One so stuffed with over-the-top imagery... More

The Real “Nuisance?� Interviews Like This.

On CNN's "Live From" broadcast today, anchor Miles O'Brien, talking to Democratic strategist Morris Reid, alluded to John Kerry's recent... More

Yo, Hannity, Your Curveball Is Hanging

In case you were otherwise occupied last night (we certainly were), Fox News aired what Alan Colmes teased as co-host... More

Betting the (White) House

Tuesday on MSNBC, Lester Holt interviewed reporter Roland Jones about tradesports.com, a website on which people have been betting real... More

The Columbus Dispatch — King for a Day

In an election year in which partisan passions run higher than at any time since perhaps 1980, the fate of... More

Hysteria Creeps into Campaign Blogs

Eleven days out from election day and the candidate's blogs are fiercer than ever. Over at John Kerry's official blog,... More

The Press Wrestles with the Politics of Flu

By Thomas Lang The politics of flu became an issue earlier this month when British regulators shut down a Chiron... More

Is There a Draft in Here?

The political press recently figured out, with a few weeks left in the race, that the campaigns' rhetoric often distorts... More

Courting Political Advantage

This election, it may be a long time before the fat lady sings. A quick scan of this morning's headlines... More

Fear, Loathing and More Fear

With vitriolic sound bites flying thick and fast on the campaign trail, bloggers are also going at each other with... More

When a Media Company Runs Amok

It's time for our first annual Ben Bagdikian Media Monopoly Award. Who or what has done the most to curb... More

Stop That Knee From Jerking

The lead story in today's New York Times is a report on the latest Times/CBS News poll, which shows a... More

Fitting the President for Flip-Flops

Modest folks that we are here at Campaign Desk, we aren't expecting any laurels for the recent outbreak of fact-check... More

Priceless Eyeballs

For anyone who has never heard of ABC's online political newsletter, The Note, David Grann's New Yorker piece this week... More

When Headlines Turn Bad

USA Today splashed the following five-column banner headline across its front page today, in type so big you'd have thought... More

The Circuitous Road to an Endorsement

By Susan Q. Stranahan As the election nears, hundreds of newspapers around the country continue a ritual as old as... More

How Dare You??

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz today brings us this tidbit: Stunned by the efforts of fact-check teams and "truth squads"... More

Exactly Which “L” Word Are We Talking About?

It's Blame It on the Media Day in the blogosphere, with both Republicans and Democrats taking cracks at the press.... More

Tom Tomorrow Gets It Exactly Right

In today's Week in Review section of The New York Times, Public Editor Daniel Okrent gives over his page two... More

Whither?

It was not so long ago that Campaign Desk was encouraged (for the most part) by the late but welcome... More

Building a House of Sticks

Yesterday morning, President Bush visited campaign reporters in the back of Air Force One. It was a marked departure for... More

Elephant? What Elephant?

Today, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank offers up an "analysis" piece with the headline, "Bush's Cartoon of Kerry Failed to... More

Stephen Elliott on Nedra Pickler, Arianna Huffington ‘s Allure and Ann Coulter’s S&M Come-On

Stephen Elliott at the 2004 Democratic National Convention Stephen Elliott is the author of the new book Looking Forward... More

Will the Real Richard Wolffe Please Step Forward?

"TV is about impressions." So said Newsweek's Richard Wolffe on CNN's "Larry King Live" last night. And in watching Wolffe's... More

CNN Gets a Big One Right

Last night, President Bush pulled out an oft-cited statistic to laud his administration's success in pursuing al Qaeda. As he... More

Falling Over Backward Seeking Balance

Yesterday afternoon, Howard Kurtz appeared on CNN's "Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics" to fact check the presidential candidates' attacks on each... More

Playing it Straight

Was John Kerry's explicit reference in last night's debate to Vice President Cheney's gay daughter "fair game," as Kerry campaign... More

Video News Releases - They’re Everywhere!

Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that local news stations had aired, as news, a video news release... More

Suckers for a Catchy Line

Campaigns and candidates pelt reporters all day long with tasty sound bites, hoping that they will then be tossed out... More

Oatmeal for Once

Lately, we've felt like we've been subsisting on a media diet of Red Bull and Sour Patch Kids for way... More

More He-Said/She-Said on Health Care

Pete Yost of the Associated Press, reporting on President Bush's speech today in Colorado Springs, Colo., treats the president's criticism... More

Pollsters, Polls, and the Flip-Flop Saga

The New Yorker this week runs 200 pages deep with Campaign Desk fodder, from Columbia Journalism School's own Nicholas Lemann... More

CNN - Where the Spin Is the News

This morning on CNN, Sinclair Broadcasting's Mark Hyman went on the air to defend his company's decision to force its... More

A Call to Arms

Kudos to The New York Times for a lead editorial today that lends ominous overtones to how things might play... More

Karen Ryan Redux

Earlier this year, the Bush administration was caught using video news releases touting the government's Medicare drug benefit that were... More

Policy? Nah, Let’s Talk About Real Estate

Dan Okrent, the New York Times' public editor, surely saw his mailbox flooded yesterday by Campaign Desk imitators after publicizing... More

Washington Post 3, New York Times 1

Following Friday night's debate, Campaign Desk was struck by the stark differences between the "fact-checking" efforts of two major newspapers.... More

Betting on the Horse Race

As John Tierney points out in today's New York Times, while instant and overnight polls gave John Kerry the edge... More

Spin Room Causing Nausea?

Perhaps the most fascinating spectacle emerging from last night's debate didn't come from the candidates, the undecideds, or even the... More

Terrorists on US Election: “Who Cares?”

Perhaps the most significant unexamined charge in the campaign is the question of who "the enemy" -- whether it be... More

Kansas Disappears; Pollsters, Pundits, Press, Pols, Ponder Impact

An asteroid crashed to earth where Kansas used to be today, killing thousands, leaving a smoking hole stretching 80,000 square... More

Ann Gerhart on Pulling Back the Curtain, Laura Bush’s Spin, and DC’s New Baseball Team

Ann Gerhart Ann Gerhart is covering the presidential campaign for the Washington Post's Style section. She joined the Post... More

AP Raises Questions - About Itself

Setting the table for tonight's debate, Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press writes, "Kerry stepped up his rhetoric, too, after... More

Imagining A Spin-free Story

Late Tuesday night, returning to post-VP debate coverage after a commercial break, Peter Jennings reminded his viewers, "[ABC does not]... More

Didn’t Fly the First Time, Doesn’t Fly Now

What's worse than your typical desperately speculative swing voter story? A recycled desperately speculative swing voter story. With so many... More

Newsweak

Consider this passage from Howard Fineman's latest online dispatch for Newsweek on the current state of the campaign: This campaign... More

Attention Voters: Try to Chill Out!

Campaign Desk doesn't spend a lot of time hanging around gossip sheets, but an alert reader to whom one of... More

The Evolving Factcheck

By Liz Cox Barrett and Thomas Lang On October 5, four years ago, in the hour following the vice presidential... More

White House Bait & Switch, plus Taxman & Tortboy

Did the White House dupe the cable networks into covering George Bush's Pennsylvania speech yesterday by promising a major policy... More

Moving Among the Hunters and the Hunted

By Zachary Roth Cleveland, Ohio -- Hosting the vice presidential debate last Tuesday seemed to be the biggest thing that's... More

Instant CW Pudding: Add Water, Stir One Minute, Then Eat

As we mentioned yesterday, we were a bit taken aback at how quickly conventional wisdom congealed around the storyline that... More

Please … Just Once?

We don't assume that reporters flock to this site after a long day on the campaign beat. But if Pete... More

Stiffing Your Hosts

Every once in a while, as Campaign Desk wanders through the thickets of election coverage, we stumble across one of... More

‘Sphere Does Its Best Sportswriter Imitation

The Expectorate -- those reporters, commentators, pundits and political operatives who try to set expectations for a given candidate and... More

Trapped by Deadline, Hammered by Spinners

Spin Alley at the first presidential debate Editor's note: For two days this week, Thomas Lang joined Democratic presidential... More

Out of Touch - Democrats, Republicans, or The Economist?

In the battle for newsstand sales, the major newsweeklies have pitted Thomas Edison against the presidential debate against a scary... More

98 Times (For the 98th Time …)

Just when Campaign Desk was momentarily heartened by a flurry of fact-checking -- what a novel concept! -- by the... More

Polls, Talking Points, and a Blue Joke

In advance of tonight's VP debate, bloggers are combing through polling data gathered after last Thursday's presidential face-off. Ruy Teixeira... More

Reporters Flunk a (Global) Test

In last week's presidential debate, John Kerry told Jim Lehrer that he would never involve the country in a pre-emptive... More

Could We Just Have a Few?

As the campaign focus shifts to domestic policy in anticipation of the next two debates, the candidates mixed post-debate jabs... More

It Could Be Worse - You Could Live in a State Where Your Vote Mattered

Over 530,000 campaign ads have aired on TV thus far in the 2004 election. Yet those ads -- which barely... More

Mark’s Morning Message

By Liz Cox Barrett Editor's note: For two days, Campaign Desk's Liz Cox Barrett joined Senator John Edwards' traveling press... More

Loose Wires

Scoops and attribution are our topic today; specifically, who deserves credit for breaking one of the weekend buzz stories coming... More

Anonymice Break Out, Go On Rampage

For a brief while last week, it seemed as if New York Times reporters were at long last taking to... More

Starving the News Cycle

Editor's note: For two days this week, Thomas Lang joined Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's traveling press corps as he... More

The Care, Feeding, and Habitat of the Traveling Press

Editor's note: For two days this week, Campaign Desk's Liz Cox Barrett joined Senator John Edwards' traveling press corps as... More

Bloggers Unmask ‘Undecided’ Moles

We don't usually run a blog report on Friday, since we post the Water Cooler in its place. (And we'd... More

Facing Facts - At Last!

The most encouraging part of the press coverage of last night's presidential debate has been the sudden flurry of fact-checking... More

Where Is Johnny?

By Liz Cox Barrett Editor's note: For two days this week, Campaign Desk's Liz Cox Barrett joined Senator John Edwards'... More

Michael Kinsley on Slate vs. the L.A. Times, Calling a Lie a Lie, and Opinion Journalism as Indulgence

Michael Kinsley has been the editorial and opinion editor of the Los Angeles Times since June. He founded Slate in... More

Why won’t journalists ask Bill Cosby the tough questions? - Sexual assault charges are hardly ever mentioned to the TV star

Knoxville’s alt-weekly wasn’t losing money. It got shut down anyway - Scripps pulls the plug on Metro Pulse in favor of an entertainment supplement for the local daily

Chuck Todd’s Obama book says more about the author than it does about the president - ‘The Stranger’ underscores a broader problem with the way we cover politics

Beware labeling Pope Francis a liberal - Political boxes like liberal/conservative and evolutionist/creationist miss his real significance

The Virginian-Pilot produces a breakthrough investigation amid layoffs - Reporter John Holland discusses how the story came together, newsroom cutbacks, and colleagues who cover for each other


Which media outlets use ‘illegal immigrant’? (Fusion)

“[I]n spite of all the good reasons not to use the phrase, it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines”

Jack Shafer on losing his job (Capital New York)

“Right now, my immediate plan is to go to work as a lay therapist at The Intercept to bring the healing there so John Cook and Matt Taibbi can return. I have great interpersonal skills.”

On outlets that continue to call unknown drone victims ‘militants’ (The Intercept)

“Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated”

UNITY’s convention is no more (All Digitocracy)

“The organization’s board of directors decided that UNITY will no longer host the quadrennial conferences for which it had become known”

Bloggingheads

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

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