The only reason we ask is that in a New York Observer article about the quickening news cycles and how the more serious work of newspapers no longer drives the debate, Keller mocks the media attention showered all over the McCain camp's phony "lipstick on a pig" attack last week. The Times' executive editor laments how, "The simple-minded silliness of lipstick-on-a-pig filled at least one cable news cycle."
The thing is, according to Nexis, the transparent lipstick controversy was mentioned in at least twelve different Times articles or columns during the last week.
Maybe the Times isn't quite as serious as Keller would like us to believe.
Just said the press turned on McCain because he's no longer bashing conservatives. The far-right press critic dismissed the idea that it's because the press has been turned off by the falsehoods being churned out by the McCain campaign. And Goldberg said the fact that McCain has completely eliminated his interaction with the campaign press has played no role in the tone of the media coverage.
Best line: Goldberg claimed McCain would be getting much better press if he'd picked "liberal Democrat" Joe Lieberman as his running mate.
I kid, but this actually scares me to death. The Newark Star-Ledger, the largest newspaper in NJ, and one of the best second-tier dailies in the country, might be shut down in January? I realize there are union negotiations going on and the new note from the publisher might just be an attempt to new huge concessions. But as a loyal reader I can attest that the newspaper is getting thinner by the day.
Let's add these folks to the list of journalists who, while reporting the McCain/Blackberry story, falsely suggested Al Gore ever claimed to have "invented" the Internet:
NBC's Mark Murray: "And Al Gore invented the internet!"
The Wall Street Journal's Elizabeth Holmes: "If Al Gore invented the Internet, then maybe John McCain helped invent the BlackBerry?"
Politico reports that scribes covering McCain, upset that they haven't had any access to him in more than 30 days, staged a mini-insurrection on the campaign airplane, with chants of "Bring Mac back!" The McCamp just laughed:
The chanting lasted under a minute as staffers in the business cabin smiled and then promptly closed the curtain between business and coach.
Here's an idea, maybe the traveling press should write front-pages news articles and fill up the cable airwaves with stories about how McCain and his running mate remain hermetically sealed from the press and that the candidates refuse to answer the simplest question. Maybe that would produce some results. Or do journalists think the veil of secrecy will magically be lifted on the 45th day?
And it's the press' fault. Why? "Because the political press has consciously folded its work into the larger entertainment culture."
Just a note regarding the supreme irony in the unfolding McCain/Blackberry story. Wired has now posted a news item that begins:
Al Gore may have invented the internet, but it's Republican presidential candidate John McCain we have to thank for the "miracle" of the BlackBerry, his top economic adviser said Tuesday.
It's false to claim that Al Gore ever said he invented the Internet. An entire books could be filled with the detailed debunking of that story. But Wired doesn't seem to care. And Wired today isn't alone. Lots of news orgs are having fun with the McCain story by comparing to Gore's claim of inventing the Internet.
The deep irony is that it was a Wired News report in 1999 that officially kicked off the Al Gore-invented-the-Internet charade because it was a Wired reporter who took Gore's overlooked comments made on CNN about the creation of the Internet and suggested Gore had taken credit for it; a Wired claim the GOP then picked up, inserted the word "invented," and and then pushed to an eager press corps.
Days later Wired News returned to the story and reported Gore "claimed to have invented the Internet."
Nine years later and Wired is still trafficking the falsehood.
News orgs are all over a McCain adviser's contention that the Arizona senator, through his legislative leadership, helped create the Blackberry. But why does the media have to dig up the old Al Gore-invented-the-Internet tripe?
From AP: "Move over, Al Gore. You may lay claim to the Internet, but John McCain helped create the BlackBerry."
Al Gore did not "lay claim" to the Internet. That wasn't true in 1999 when the press, and the GOP, peddled it. And it's not true today.
Goes to Politico: "Cash-poor Obama says no to Reid."
Article is about a little intramural jockeying for cash that's going on within the Democratic Party. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Read reportedly asked the Obama campaign to share some of its $77 million to help Democrats win more senate seats. According to Politico, the Obama camp declined.
The problem is with the "cash-poor" part of the headline. Obama just raised $66 million last month, shattering the previous monthly fundraising record. His campaign now has $77 million to spend, while it continues to raise tens of millions more each month. How is Obama cash poor? That makes no sense. It's inaccurate and paints a false, unflattering picture of the Obama campaign.
The term cash poor suggests the Obama campaign doesn't have enough readily available money on hand to run its campaign. Actually, it has $77 million on hand.
A better headline would have been maybe, "Frugal Obama says no to Reid." But Politico can point to no evidence to suggest the Obama campaign is cash poor.