Covering The Capitol

On The Media

Stop Covering All the History!

Friday, April 16, 2010

President Obama said this week's nuclear summit was an "unprecedented gathering to address an unprecedented threat." But before the gathering commenced, the media was asked to leave. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank says this week marked a new low for the Obama White House's relationship with the press.

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On The Media

Tracking Polls

Friday, March 26, 2010

After months of political wrangling over health care reform why couldn't our elected leaders just have just given the people what they want? That's why we have public opinion polls, right? Well ... it turns out that the public's opinion isn't as clear as pols might have liked, and had ...

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On The Media

Re-upping the Patriot Act

Friday, March 05, 2010

President Obama recently signed into law the re-authorization of three contentious provisions of the Patriot Act. Shane Harris, author of The Watchers, returns this week to discuss the implications for the future of American surveillance.

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On The Media

Scaling the Summit

Friday, February 26, 2010

With the stage set and the script written and revised, the actors hit their marks on Thursday for the President’s first bipartisan Health Care Summit. After much anticipation both Republicans and Democrats sat through a more than six hour discussion of the labyrinthine reform proposals. But what sound does a ...

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On The Media

Up With People

Friday, January 29, 2010

For over a century, politicians trying to rally their base and refocus voter anger have relied on a durable rhetorical tactic - populism - the framing of virtually any issue as us vs. them. President Obama used the strategy in his State of the Union address. Historian and ...

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On The Media

Is 60 the Magic Number?

Friday, January 22, 2010

The media reminded us over and over this week that the Democrats' 60th vote was at stake in the Massachusetts special election even though a bill only needs 51 votes to pass the Senate. It is ending a filibuster that requires 60 yay's. James Fallows, national ...

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On The Media

Book Club

Friday, October 16, 2009

Two books about the Vietnam War are reportedly shaping the policy debate about Afghanistan. One is circulating among military circles and the other is being passed around the White House. All this reading is making The New Yorker's George Packer a bit nervous. He ...

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On The Media

A Torture Narrative

Friday, October 02, 2009

In an attempt to keep the public interested in the vast amount of information about the government's interrogation practices and rendition policies, the ACLU recently launched The Torture Report. The report's chief author, Larry Siems, hopes to draw people in by writing an accessible story about ...

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On The Media

The Other Provision

Friday, October 02, 2009

Much attention has been paid to three provisions of The Patriot Act set to expire this year, but civil libertarians say the focus should be on a lesser noticed portion of the law having to do with National Security Letters. Greg Nojeim, ...

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On The Media

A New Privilege

Friday, September 25, 2009

The state secrets privilege allows the government to ask judges to dismiss trials for national security reasons. Civil libertarians say the government abuses the privilege in order to avoid lawsuits. On Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder laid out the ways President Obama will reform the privilege, but ...

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On The Media

Just Read It

Friday, September 11, 2009

Some opponents of the President's health care plan have been berating lawmakers with entreaties to "read the bill," implying that members of Congress often don't read the laws they vote on. Harper's Ken Silverstein says the protesters are probably right, but they're missing the point.

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On The Media

President, Interrupted

Friday, September 11, 2009

Much of the media coverage of the President's address before a joint session of Congress focused on an outburst from Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC). Fred Beuttler, deputy historian for the United States House of Representatives, talks about other famous interruptions from the floor. Plus, Washington Post columnist Dana ...

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On The Media

Movie Critic

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week about a controversial 2008 film, "Hillary: The Movie," whose broadcast was stopped when federal election officials determined it was paid political speech. But New York Times legal correspondent Adam Liptak says the case is about more then a movie, the ...

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On The Media

The Wrong Debate?

Friday, August 28, 2009

The C.I.A. inspector general's report released this week exposed gruesome interrogation techniques used on detainees. But as the press combs through the report, is the discussion whether these practices are illegal or whether they're effective? Bob asks LA Times reporter Greg Miller whether the debate over ...

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On The Media

In Sickness and In Health

Friday, August 21, 2009

In discussing national health care plans, reporters, politicians and especially critics have been fond of invoking the failed Clinton plan of '93 & '94. Paul Starr, Princeton professor and author of The Social Transformation of American Medicine, says the history of national health care and its discontents is ...

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On The Media

Covering Recovery

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Obama Administration promised that Recovery.gov would make the massive stimulus package transparent and highlight how well (or poorly) it's working. But Eric Umansky, senior editor at ProPublica, says it's hard to track the stimulus money because the numbers on the website just don't ...

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On The Media

Pollbearers

Friday, July 24, 2009

New poll numbers show that public support for President Obama and for health care reform have declined. Is it over for a new health plan? Cable made us think so. We asked 538's number-crunching expert Nate Silver what the polls really mean ...

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On The Media

Global Audience

Friday, June 05, 2009

The White House worked to tamp high expectations for Obama's Cairo address but, by the end of the week, the world was watching and listening. Naila Hamdy, Chair of the Journalism Department at the American University in Cairo, discusses the changing landscape of Egypt's ...

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On The Media

Court and Spark

Friday, May 29, 2009

With the choice of Federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the US Supreme Court this week the machinery of advocacy groups, pro and con, was sparked into action. Defying and supporting a supreme court nominee has become a veritable cottage industry for these groups and for the next six weeks we’ll ...

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On The Media

Rewrite

Friday, May 22, 2009

This month saw the launch of a multimillion dollar ad campaign meant to sink President Obama’s as yet unannounced health care plan. James Fallows covered the first round in the fight over health care in 1994. He says the 1994 plan failed in large part because of a ...

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