Covering The Capitol

On The Media

Fakin' It

Friday, March 18, 2005

If no news is good news, then what's fake news? If you're producing it, it's good news too. And so for the past four years, the Bush Administration has been churning it out, in the form of "video news releases" designed to shoehorn the government's message seamlessly into TV newscasts. ...

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Budget Forecast: Cloudy

Friday, March 11, 2005

A few weeks ago, President Bush kicked off the annual game of political football known as the budget process. His $2.57 trillion spending proposal now goes to Congress, which will revise it with the help of the Congressional Budget Office. Meanwhile, the rest of us, including a small cadre of ...

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On The Media

Washington Press Lore

Friday, March 11, 2005

The more people come to rely on the Internet for news and information, the more we all wrestle with the question of what makes a journalist a journalist. In his new book, Reporting from Washington, U.S. Senate historian Donald Ritchie gives some historical perspective, demonstrating how technology has driven the ...

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1600 Pen Ave.

Friday, December 24, 2004

In his second White House term, George W. Bush will be surrounded by new faces, and not just in his Cabinet. There will be changes in the White House press corps, most notably that of the Washington Post, which is being completely revamped. White House correspondent Dana Milbank joins Bob ...

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On The Media

The Sound of Ashcroft

Friday, November 12, 2004

This week, John Ashcroft tendered his resignation as Attorney General of the United States. From his fractious confirmation, through September 11th and the passage of the Patriot Act, he has left a lasting legal legacy. Goodbyes are never easy, but as Ashcroft sings his swan song, Bob takes the opportunity ...

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On The Media

Spies Like Us

Friday, November 12, 2004

"Open source" intelligence is, roughly speaking, the sea of public information we swim in – things like news reports, academic studies, and scientific research. And it plays an increasing role in plans to restructure U.S. intelligence agencies. The 9/11 Commission report recommended creating a new agency to better use "open ...

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Letters

Friday, November 12, 2004

Readers weigh in on our retrospective of Bush administration secrecy, as well as our story on the dirtiest word in the English language.

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The Persuaders

Friday, November 05, 2004

The Kerry and Bush camps are packing up their campaign offices, having collectively burned an estimated one billion dollars on advertising over the course of the campaign. The figure is bigger every four years, it’s probably safe to say, because ads work. In the Frontline documentary “The Persuaders,” which airs ...

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On The Media

Lights Out

Friday, November 05, 2004

Government secrecy was not a big issue in the Presidential campaign. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a major difference in the candidates’ respective attitudes on the issue. Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy joins Bob to discuss four more years of what many ...

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On The Media

Kill the Messenger

Friday, October 29, 2004

An article in this week's New Republic lays out a four-fold endgame strategy by the Bush campaign. Phase one: go on attack. Phase two: roll back time to before 9-11. Phase three: soften the president's image. And phase four: KILL THE MESSENGER. The article's author, Ryan Lizza, tells Bob how ...

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On The Media

Can't Cover the Bulge

Friday, October 15, 2004

When George W. walked out on the stage in Arizona this week, viewers at home could be forgiven for copping a peek at the president's back. Whether or not they could see something there, between the shoulder blades, under the suit jacket, probably depended on their predisposition to a certain ...

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On The Media

October Surprise

Friday, October 15, 2004

Ever since 1980, the idea of an "October Surprise" has fascinated political junkies everywhere. The term originated with allegations that the Reagan campaign made a secret arrangement with Iranian hostage-takers in order to discredit President Carter. As a tactic, it has provided a successful model for election sabotage, and few ...

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CBS Chills Out

Friday, October 01, 2004

CBS is finally crawling out from under the scandal that erupted after its airing of what was most likely a forged document last month. Now, the network appears to be bending over backwards to keep the charges of liberal bias at bay. Last week, CBS announced that its finished story ...

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Leakers

Friday, September 24, 2004

Leaks are part and parcel of the Fourth Estate, and a tremendous irritant to the Bush Administration, especially back in the early days of the War on Terror. That was when Bob produced this piece on the pros, cons and mechanisms of the ever-present, and indispensable, Washington leak.

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Transparency is Right

Friday, September 24, 2004

This summer, 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean noted that three-quarters of the classified material he reviewed during the investigation shouldn't have been classified in the first place. Since then, we've heard a new round of calls for revising federal guidelines on secrecy, and not just from the usual suspects. Heritage ...

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Spin the Tail

Friday, August 20, 2004

George W. Bush may be the first president since Hoover to preside over a net job loss, but one industry has boomed under his watch - political truth-squadding. In the last three-and-a-half years, Bryan Keefer, for one, has become a veteran vetter. The co-author of All the President's Spin tells ...

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Shepherding the Flock

Friday, August 13, 2004

If homeland security officials were to stop doing their jobs until after the election, so as not to be perceived as being politically-motivated, would we really be better off? That's how DHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Susan Neely responds to accusations that her agency is shilling for the GOP. ...

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Endgame

Sunday, August 08, 2004

The horserace, political fumbles, the knockout blow. Once again, sports metaphors are a ubiquitous part of the presidential campaign. But this year, sports themselves are in the middle of the political playing field. And the images of the candidates on the water, on the mound or against any other sporting ...

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Judging Judy

Sunday, August 08, 2004

There are more developments in the FBI's search for the source of the Bob Novak column that outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. This week: The Feds vs. The New York Times.

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Private Eyes

Friday, July 23, 2004

How scared should we really be about thieves accessing our credit card bills? And how has the growing reach of the internet affected the limits of our privacy? Steven Rambam, a private investigator who makes heavy use of online databases in his daily work, has some disturbing answers. He gives ...

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