Elections

On The Media

Dean Colored Glasses

Friday, February 20, 2004

Political reporters have been busy this week writing obituaries for the Howard Dean campaign, and trying to explain what on earth happened to the candidate who a few weeks ago was the undisputed frontrunner. Some blame Dean for not keeping his cool, and some blame his staffers for squandering the ...

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Pesca On the Trail

Friday, February 20, 2004

We're often told that John Kerry has won 15 out of 17 states in his quest to be the Democratic nomination. But might the common parlance of the campaign horse race be a bit misleading? In November's presidential election, candidates win states. But in the primaries, they win delegates. NPR's ...

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Coming Out Swinging

Friday, February 13, 2004

The presidential election is still nine months away, but the Bush re-election campaign is already on the offensive. Or is it defensive? This week, the campaign posted on its web site an advertisement-style video that isn't about George W. Bush at all. Instead, the spot focuses entirely on the Democratic ...

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Medicare Ad

Friday, February 06, 2004

It's been two months since Congress narrowly passed a major overhaul of Medicare, and initial indications are that many seniors are less than clear about its details. And so this week, the government launched a 12.6 million dollar advertising campaign targeted at seniors who still have questions about the new ...

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Primetime Primary

Friday, January 30, 2004

At last, Americans can use their cell phones to register their choice of presidential candidate! Not for the heated contests being held in South Carolina, Arizona, and New Mexico… but rather for Showtime's very own 10-episode primary. On "American Candidate," political polemics meets reality TV meets the American dream, and ...

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Nudge Nudge

Friday, January 30, 2004

After their embarrassing mistakes on Election Night 2000, the big three news networks swore that they'd be extra careful - and responsible - when reporting election returns in the future. This week in New Hampshire, they had their first opportunity to demonstrate their mended ways. One of their cardinal rules ...

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The Spin Room

Friday, January 23, 2004

When the candidates left the stage on Thursday after the final debate before primary season, there was no rest - yet - for the weary. Instead, they moved on to the spin room, where the reporters asked questions that hadn't been asked in the debate, and the candidates reiterated their ...

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Topdog, Underdog

Friday, January 23, 2004

After the votes were tallied this week, pundits continued to debate how much the Iowa caucuses really matter. But if there's any lesson we take away from Iowa, it's that the media love a winner, and love to hate a loser. And according to National Journal media critic Bill Powers, ...

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Whoop(s)

Friday, January 23, 2004

Looking back over the history of politics in the TV age, there are more than a few examples of people dragged into infamy by a single image of themselves. And so it was with Governor Howard Dean this week, whose performance at a spontaneous pep rally in Iowa resonated almost ...

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On The Media

Letters

Friday, January 23, 2004

Listeners weigh in on campaign embeds, independent film, and the State of the Union.

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Living with the Hopefuls

Friday, January 16, 2004

Many TV networks this campaign season are taking a cue from Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have assigned reporters to be 24-hour-a-day shadows for the candidates on the trail, and outfitted them with digital video cameras for the job. MSNBC has even dubbed their field producers "campaign embeds." New Hampshire Public ...

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On The Media

Primarily Ignored

Friday, January 09, 2004

These days, Iowa and New Hampshire are awash with out-of-towners. And a good portion of them are journalists, chasing the candidates as they, in turn, chase the votes. But in the city whose Democratic presidential primary is just a few days away, there's nary a campaign reporter in sight. So, ...

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What's Your Lead, Walter?

Friday, December 19, 2003

For more than four decades, Walter Mears covered national politics for the Associated Press. He was famous on many a campaign bus for his speedy writing and his uncanny knack for honing in on the essence of a story. In his new book, "Deadlines Past: 40 Years of Presidential Campaigns, ...

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Rules of the Game

Friday, December 19, 2003

In a recent email fired off to reporters, the John Kerry for President Campaign made some disparaging comments about Gov. Howard Dean's anti-war stance, with the caveat that the information was not to be attributed to Kerry's people. But when New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney included the comments in ...

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Unpacking the Reform

Saturday, December 13, 2003

When the Supreme Court this week upheld the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, more than soft money was at stake. The odd coupling of groups like the NRA and ACLU had also challenged the law's restrictions on campaign advertising, calling them a restriction of free speech. Bob talks to Paul Taylor, ...

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And the Horses Round the Bend

Saturday, December 13, 2003

This week, the nine Democratic presidential hopefuls squared off for the final televised debate before the Iowa Caucus. There wasn't a lot said by the candidates that made much of a splash in the press. Instead, the media analysis centered on the performance of debate moderator Ted Koppel. Koppel joins ...

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Local News, Local Democracy

Friday, November 07, 2003

Speaking of polls, many of them show that local TV is America's prime source of information about local government. But a recent study found that in the weeks leading up to the 2002 elections, about half of the local newscasts in the top 50 markets didn't air a single story ...

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Acting Conservative

Friday, October 10, 2003

When Arnold settles into the governor’s mansion, the notoriously “liberal” Tinseltown will have produced yet another Republican politician. In fact, while the acting community is viewed as almost monolithically on the political left, history shows that Republican thespians perform much better as candidates than do their democratic colleagues. On the ...

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Smugging for the Camera

Friday, October 10, 2003

When Arnold the action hero morphed into Arnold the governor this week, it seemed like many members of media could not quite believe what they were reporting, despite pre-election polls which indicated an easy win for Schwarzenegger. In a recent column, Harper’s Magazine Editor Lewis Lapham chastised the eastern editors ...

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Just the Facts

Friday, September 26, 2003

A new law in Russia prohibits media from providing any "commentary" when covering a political campaign. In practice, the rule has left political reporters with almost nothing to report, because the definition of campaigning is so all-encompassing. Two violations by a media organization and it can be shut down for ...

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