She reported from Congress tonight and summed up the status of the bailout negotiations, which hit a major snag on Thursday but seem to be progressing more smoothly now.
Yellin concluded her update by saying: "The attitude here is nobody can really explain what went wrong yesterday but now they're back on track." [Emphasis added.]
Hmm, what was different about Thursday and Friday in Washington? Who made a surprise appearance Thursday when the bailout talks fell apart but left Washington today? Hmmm.
Earlier today, Marc Ambinder described an Obama campaign memo this way: "If it's 2pm the day of the debate, it must be an expectations-lowering memo."
Just a few hours later, he engaged in some expectations-lowering of his own -- on behalf of John McCain.
McCain has spent a lot less time preparing for this debate than Obama owing to McCain's decision to suspend his campaign and return to Washington.
We'll probably see a lot of assertions like this, but how do reporters know it is true? McCain didn't actually return to Washington until yesterday afternoon -- and he was at home by 6 pm. Besides which, he can do debate prep from anywhere. So how does Marc Ambinder -- or anyone else -- know how much time the candidates spent preparing for the debate? Particularly with enough certainty to announce that one has spent "a lot less time" than the other?
Also: John McCain didn't suspend his campaign. Anyone who says he did isn't telling the truth.
And Marc Ambinder knows McCain didn't suspend his campaign. Here's what Ambinder wrote yesterday: "The campaign is 'suspended,' although we know it's a partial suspension of some activities designed to look like a full-scale suspension."
So, in a single sentance, Ambinder wrote something he knows isn't true, and something he cannot know is true -- both of which help McCain.
A new Associated Press article about seven top aides to Sarah Palin defying a subpoena in the Alaska Troopergate probe notes that the state Senate Judiciary chairman who threatened to hold the aides in contempt is a Democrat.
Then, in the next paragraph, the article noted that the state's Attorney General "filed a lawsuit on behalf of the seven state workers Thursday challenging the subpoenas. He claims the committee has no jurisdiction to issue subpoenas in the investigation."
But nowhere does the article tell readers that the Attorney General is a Republican ... a Republican who was appointed by Sarah Palin.
Michael Calderone at Politico flags the wire service for trying to suggest Biden recently kept journalists at bay just like Palin has.
And yikes, even Fox News claims AP got the Biden/press story wrong.
Meanwhile, Greg Pollowitz needs to update his National Review's Media Blog. He chided Biden -- and the media -- based on that initial, false AP report.
But given the economic constraints, E&P reports major newspaper across the country continue to ax their staff ombudsmen, often leaving readers without direct access to the newsroom or ways to air their concerns.
A County Fair readers points out the absurdity of the Washington Post today inserting the name of McCain's campaign plane into a news article about delicate bailout negotiations:
McCain's "Straight Talk Air" landed at Reagan National Airport just after noon, and his motorcade headed toward the Senate.
Compare that with how the New York Times handled the same set of facts:
Mr. McCain's campaign plane landed in Washington shortly before noon, when there was already tentative word of a bailout deal before he even set foot in the Capitol.
It seems obvious that by including the boosterish name of McCain's plane, the Post was simply inserting campaign talking point into a news story and propping up, on behalf of the candidate, his preferred image of a straight talker.
Today's New York Times features an article by Patrick Healy that portrays Barack Obama as "out of sync" with Americans who are upset about their struggling economic conditions and accuses Obama of "convey[ing] a certain distance from the ache that many voters feel."
But Healy does not support his thesis with any poll results. And for good reason: his own newspaper's public polling badly undermines his point.
A CBS/New York Times poll conducted September 12-16 found that 60 percent of Americans "think Barack Obama understands the needs and problems of people like yourself." Only 48 percent say the same of John McCain.
That same poll found that 60 percent of Americans are confident of Obama's "ability to make the right decisions about the economy." 53 percent said the same of McCain. And 66 percent said Obama "shares the values most Americans try to live by," compared to 61 percent who said the same of McCain.
If Healy distrusts his own newspaper's polling, he could have looked to the LA Times poll, which found that by a margin of 48-32, more Americans think Obama has "better ideas for strengthening the nation's economy." Or Pew, which found that by a margin of 47-35, more Americans think Obama would "best address the problems investment banks and companies with ties to the housing market are having."
Instead of providing public opinion polling relevant to his thesis (polling that, for the most part, completely falsifies the thesis) Healy included several quotes from "experts" that are contradicted by the polling. Incredibly, Healy didn't include a single quote from a source saying Obama's approach has been effective - despite the fact that the polling shows it has been more successful than McCain's.
Healy did, however, find a way to work Obama's race into an article that would seem to have nothing to do with the topic:
For Mr. Obama, the financial crisis poses different risks. He wants to appear fired up over the economy, but he has written before about wanting to avoid appearing like a stereotypical angry black man. Unlike Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and other black leaders whose fulminations could scare white voters, Mr. Obama is not from and of New York, Detroit, or the segregated South; he grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia. To some degree Mr. Obama faces the opposite challenge from fiery black leaders who came before him: Is he too cool for a crisis like this one?
His spin this morning on MSNBC:
Democratic pundits are scratching their head distressed by the polls. They are looking at the polls and wondering why they aren't far ahead. Some are starting to ask the question, did we nominate the wrong person?"