Blog

  • McCain and press, pals for life?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Despite running an anti-media campaign, and despite columnists like Richard Cohen and Joe Klein announcing their public break-ups with McCain, the GOP candidate won't have trouble re-igniting the Beltway media's passion after Nov. 4, according to Michael Shaffer at TNR:

    Candidates like John McCain don't have to change their behavior when the pundits get on their high horses. They know that their reputations will be bailed out eventually.

  • Cable TV, still addicted to the campaign

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    This is pretty remarkable, and continues the disturbing newsroom trend of Beltway reporters being incapable of turning their attention away from the campaign, regardles of breaking news events.

    For the week of Sept. 22-28, when Wall Street was collapsing, historic bailouts were being negotiated and news consumer interest in the topic of the economy reached record heights, cable TV still devoted more time to the campaign (51%) than any other news story that week.

  • Another Sunday, more Obsession

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    That's the right-wing, anti-Muslim DVD that's being stuffed into millions of Sunday newspapers in swing states across the country and continues to cause controversy. Critics fear the biased documentary may be leading to violence against Muslims.

    Newspapers that accept money from the DVD's backers to distribute the fear-mongering film insists they can't reject the insert based on content. But lots of leading newspapers, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit Free Press, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The News & Record of Greensboro, N.C., have done just that.

    And the publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel now says that if forced to make the decision again, her paper would not distribute the DVD.

    More problematic is the fact that several newspaper that have distributed the DVD have also written up front page news articles explaining the decision, thereby providing the right-wing backers of the film a day's worth of free publicity.

  • Fact checking the fact checkers

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    The WaPo's fact checking of Joe Biden's health care comments during the debate (i.e his "significant omissions or exaggerations") was way off the mark, writes Gene Sperling at HuffPost:

    They got the Pinocchios completely backwards in this case. As good fact checkers, I hope the Post will review their analysis and admit that they got this one wrong.

  • Regarding Gwen Ifill

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Cenk Uygur at HuffPost argues that Ifill failed in her job as moderator last night and here's why:

    Because all she did was pose simple questions that were easily deflected with prepared talking points. That's not a debate; that's a boring, fairly useless, series of mini-speeches. If you don't probe beyond the initial non-answer, you are simply not doing your job. That's a disservice to the American people who came to find out if these people know what they're talking about and what their real plans for the country are.

    Was Ifill's timidty due to the surrounding controversy regarding her forthcoming Obama book? It's impossible to say. But this we do know for sure: If every four years the Commission on Presidential Debates didn't select moderators from the same extremely small, elite circle of Beltway media insiders, than perhaps potential conflicts like this wouldn't come up.

    Believe it or not, there are more than four of five Americans who are qualified to moderate a debate. It's time for the commission to branch out and tap other talent.

  • Glenn Greenwald responds to WaPo's Steven Pearlstein

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Yesterday we noted Pearlsteain, during a Post online chat with readrs, mocked liberal bloggers for not understanding the Wall Street bailout story. He said thank God the mainstream media was around to explain it to everyone.

    Greenwald took issue with that (and this was just Greenwald's warm up):

    Nothing is easier and cheaper -- or more worthless -- than making sweeping, categorical criticisms of large groups without bothering to identify a single specific. Who specifically are the "left-wing bloggers" spouting ill-informed and misleading statements in opposition to the bailout? Specifically, what have they said that isn't true, and which "mainstream media" reporters have "actually do[ne] reporting" and "understand things" and thus saved the country from being misled by the blogging-morons who dare to oppose the bailout?