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Articles by Walter Shapiro | Email the Author

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Scandal!

Walter Shapiro’s Rough Rules for Responsible Mongering

I have been commenting on Washington scandals for nearly four decades--ever since the dead-drunk Wilbur Mills, the unduly lionized chairman... More

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Let’s get real about guns

Wanted: context and numbers. What would these reforms achieve?

In the three months since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, daily coverage of the gun issue has... More

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Can the media avoid inaugural over-hype?

A little over-emoting is inevitable, but there are some cliches we can do without

After Bill Clinton took the oath of office for the second time in 1997, a USA Today columnist burbled, "Clinton's... More

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How right is the (1st round of) CW about 2012?

As the retrospectives roll in, a debate unfolds about Obama’s early ads

Theodore White’s The Making of the President 1960 was published in hardcover in July 1961, a breakneck pace in an... More

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Needed: Sherpas to guide us through fiscal cliff panic

No one wants to hike middle-class rates, so why does some coverage pretend they might rise?

The Tax Policy Center—a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution—has a lineage that in Washington think... More

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The rush to handicap 2016: let’s not

“Dr. Politics” advice—avoid horse-race journalism, but bring on the well-reported profiles

Dear Dr. Politics, I am writing about a problem that has become as annoying as stores playing Christmas carols while... More

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What if there are fewer polls in 2016?

Is the editor-in-chief of Gallup’s warning a nightmare vision or… sort of beguiling?

As a feud, it does not rise to the level of Lyndon Johnson versus Bobby Kennedy or even Jack Benny’s... More

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Hope and change in unlikely places

Three cheers for campaign coverage from BuzzFeed and the Los Angeles Times

Channeling the Lord High Executioner in The Mikado, I’ve got a little list of those parts of 2012 coverage that... More

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What happened, anyway?

The election may be over, but the self-protective spin is not

Shortly after 11 p.m. (Eastern) on Election Night—with the polls still open only in Alaska—Mitt Romney aides were pleading with... More

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Three questions about campaign coverage

How the media can do better the next time around (Or, “NOW FOR THE HARD PART”)

COLUMBUS, OH — As America lurches towards Election Day like a ravaged water-logged creature from a 1950s horror flick, the... More

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The most potent spin: lies campaigns tell themselves

Plus: is a split between the popular vote and Electoral College really so rare?

DENVER — The dirty secret of campaign journalism for the next 11 days is that there is no way for... More

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How could voters still be undecided? Try asking them

Plus, why this veteran campaign correspondent is focused on swing-state polls

They may be the most publicly maligned minority group in America, a subset of the electorate that is ridiculed with... More

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Time to head to the track

With voting underway, there’s nothing wrong with providing the horse race coverage readers crave

DES MOINES — These days, the phrase “horse-race journalism” is often accompanied by the same sneering tone that 1950s intellectuals... More

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Debate advice: Turn off Twitter

To hear like a voter you have to listen

As we get ready for the Demolition Derby in Denver (aka the Mile High Mud Wrestle), I want to return... More

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Mitt-o-phobia

The real reasons for harsh Romney coverage

Call it the Curse of Clint. Ever since Clint “Empty Chair” Eastwood stepped onto the Republican convention stage, Mitt Romney... More

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How super are the super PACs?

A decades-old rule will give more clout to official campaign cash over the next two months, but reporters have barely noticed

Like a crime boss in a pinstriped suit who is now hailed as a pillar of the community, super PACS... More

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After Charlotte: baffled by the horse race

A provocative NYT article prompts an extra dose of journalistic humility

CHARLOTTE — During Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, I was simultaneously live-blogging for Yahoo News, tweeting my reactions (“The Lincoln line... More

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Read? Listen? Who has the time?

At political conventions, journalists get preliterate

TAMPA—Sitting in my motel room Thursday on the fringes of Tampa, maybe 20 miles and three weather systems away from... More

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In defense of convention coverage

Thoughts from a veteran political reporter who still gets butterflies

For me, the malady known as Convention Anxiety is a quadrennial affliction that begins around March of every presidential election... More

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What makes Mitt tick?

We need more tick-tock from the press pack about why Romney chose Paul Ryan

The faster-than-a-tweet, fleeter-than-a-sound-bite pace of the presidential campaign upends our basic conceptions of time and duration. It is disconcerting to... More

Stop using ‘Brooklyn’ to mean hipster neighborhoods - Elite-oriented outlets typically only cover the borough’s most affluent, Manhattan-adjacent neighborhoods

The Reporters Committee is about to start suing people to help journalists - Katie Townsend joins the organization as its first litigation director

How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal - The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early

On media freedom, United Nations plays by its own rules - Months of international crises raises the stakes for reporting on the UN, but investigative journalists remain without a right to information

Keep calm and write a headline worth reading - Ease up on the exaggerations because someday you may need those explosive adjectives when a truly big story lands


Adviser of high school paper that refused to use ‘Redskins’ suspended (Student Press Law Center)

“Amid a months-long battle with administrators for editorial control … the Playwickian’s faculty adviser was suspended for two days this week”

Apple’s ‘warrant canary’ disappears (GigaOm)

Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.

Trend Piece (New Yorker)

Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. Isn’t the buzzword on your mind now? Perhaps it is on other people’s minds? Read on or you’ll be clueless, dated, and without any friends in the world. Buzzword again!

This Is How Joanna Coles Changed Cosmo (Refinery29)

The British reporter-turned-editor has made good on her promises to bring politics to the magazine, win some very big-deal journalism awards, and secure the most interesting exclusive interviews

Bloggingheads

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

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