Or at least it tries to.
The newspaper's Clinton article today is relatively straight-forward report on how Clinton is pitching in to help get Democrats, and especially Barack Obama, elected in November. It details the fundraisers she'll host.
But here's the odd part, with emphasis added:
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton has raised more than $8 million for former rival Barack Obama's presidential campaign since July and plans to barnstorm the country for even more cash, as the New York senator works to show she is aggressively helping the candidate who cut short her White House bid.
USA Today seems to suggest that Clinton isn't actually working aggressively to help Obama. She's working to show that she is helping Obama.
See the difference between the two? And see why why it's really not USA Today's place, especially since it provides no evidence to back it up, to imply Clinton's campaign work is just for show and she's simply trying to create the perception that she's helping, rather than, y'know, actually helping.
In other words, why didn't USA Today just write this:
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton has raised more than $8 million for former rival Barack Obama's presidential campaign since July and plans to barnstorm the country for even more cash, as the New York senator works aggressively to help the candidate who cut short her White House bid.
Over the weekend, Brent Bozell's conservative crew of media critics noted the recent passing of Osborne Elliott, who served as Newsweek's editor from 1961 to 1976, and then presided over the Columbia School of Journalism until 1986. Elliott died at the age of 83.
So how did NewsBuster mark the sad passing of a prominent journalists who left the newsroom decades ago? By going through Bozell's archives and finding ancient quotes that proved how Elliott was part of the "Angry Left" that "populated the highest levels of the mainstream news media."
And yes, the McCarthy-like "highest levels" was an especially classy touch.
Maybe they need a different message.
First came news last week that after losing tens of millions trying to attract a neocon following, the conservative New York Sun was folding
Now comes word of the Hollywood turkey laid over the weekend in the form of An American Carol, a "comedy" that ridicules liberals and Micael Moore in particular.
Former Hollywood producer Jane Hamsher dissects the movei's absolutely anemic per-screen box office returns.
David Brooks continues his journey as a conservative apostate. He no longer believes in the Republican Party anymore, but then looks in the mirror and realizes he's a bishop in their church. After admitting that Sarah Palin isn't qualified to be President, Brooks praises her for winning the debate.
Last week, Eric wrote:
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.
Here's a good sign he's right: On Meet the Press yesterday, VP debate moderator Gwen Ifill said Sarah Palin "more than ignored" her questions, adding, "Blew me off i think is the technical term." As Brad DeLong notes, it's one thing for Ifill to say three days later that Palin wasn't answering the questions asked of her -- but she should have done it during the debate:
When you are running a debate, and when one participant doesn't answer your questions. You say: "governor, please answer my question." Gwen Ifill didn't do that.
Debate, Yale style.
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.
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.
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.