Best of 2008: Liz Cox Barrett’s Picks

Barrett picks her top stories from 2008

1) Media’s Mixed Nuts I personally enjoyed cataloging how reporters handled Jesse Jackson’s open mic moment. So prudish. Also, I learned a new word: orchiectomy.

2) Lara Logan This is one example of an ongoing issue in media criticism: (Howard) Kurtzian buck-passing. Does the WaPo’s media critic ever actually…criticize?

3) The Anti-Chris Matthews Vote Of all the ways Chris Matthews imagined he was/might impact election 2008 with his Hardball, was the emergence of an “anti-Chris Matthews vote” one of them? A look back at the fleeting media soul-searching prompted by the NH primary results.

4) Who’s Afraid of 60 Minutes? In light of all the attention (and ratings) Steve Kroft’s post-election 60 Minutes Obama interview recently received, it is interesting to revisit Kroft’s Obama interview from back in February, during which Obama basically had to prompt/invite/beg Kroft to ask him a damn question already:

KROFT: You talk about big ideas and often with a lack of specificity. And it’s been one of the complaints about your campaign.

OBAMA: … You know, if there are issues that you want to cover right now, I’m happy to.

KROFT: Yeah, I have a—actually, I have a …

OBAMA: So why don’t we work those through?

(And Couric’s accompanying interview with Clinton was also not good. Where was the Couric who interviewed Sarah Palin later in the election season?)

5) Drudge Raises a Point For personal/professional gratification: seeing CJR on the Fox News ticker because I pointed out the appearance of conflict in Gwen Ifill moderating a debate. (Relatedly, I think my pieces Fantasy Brokaw and Reality Brokaw are worth revisiting, as I think the Way Debates Are Handled needs to be revisited.)

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.