Behold, our Fourth Estate.
We're a day late on this one, but it needed to be said, and Jeff Bercovici at Portfolio.com did.
New York Observer offers an inside look of the recent personnal changes at the cabler.
Nugget: Andrea Mitchell expressed concerns to NBC's CEO that Keith Olbermann should not be anchoring MSNBC's big political events.
Paul Begala laments how they dominate campaign coverage.
Taylor Marsh thinks so, and doubts the facts of the increasingly popular McCain-Palin Down Syndrome tale that a mysterious caller is spreading on talk radio is true.
In the ratings her first night on MSNBC. She can probably thank her lead-in, which was Countdown featuring an interview with Barack Obama. But still, huge numbers on for her debut. (h/t Atrios.)
And we link to their excellent campaign media analysis all the time, but we think they got this one wrong. In its item, "Tongue Tied on Religion," CJR criticizes a recent CNN report on Palin's religious beliefs (i.e. as a member of the Wasilla Assembly of God Pentecostal Church) because CNN treats members as odd because they "believe in the end times, a violent upheaval in the world that will bring the second coming of Jesus."
CJR, suggesting CNN went astray, writes, "Hmmm, don't most Christians believe that? Isn't that the Book of Revelations?"
The point regarding Palin is, as she tells people in Alaska, she believe the Second Coming will occur in her lifetime. That not only puts her outside the American mainstream in terms of religious beliefs, but it raises all kinds of questions about how her faith might affect her public policy. Meaning, does she not care about drilling all the oil out of Alaska because energy policy isn't going to matter after Christ's return? Would she not shy away from engaging in military conflict in the Middle East since for some, that's a pre-determined sign that Jesus is returning?
These are legitimate news questions that many reporter have shied away from, we think, precisely because if they raise them they will be criticized for being anti-religion, or condescending toward faith, which is what CJR suggests CNN did in its Palin report.
In an article about how Democrats are supposedly unloading on McCain's VP pick and are "intensifying their attacks on Sarah Palin," Politico included reference to the fact that on Tuesday Obama derided the McCain-Palin reform rhetoric by saying, "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig."
But even Politico conceded that comment was not targeted at Palin personally. (i.e. Obama certainly was not calling her a pig.) So why would Politico include that quote in an article about "personal attacks" on Palin?
We're not sure why. But we do know Politico got a Drudge link out of the deal.
Steve Benen wonders why CNN can't just tell the tale?
This time from an update posted at washingtonpost.com, headlined, "Palin Defends 'Bridge to Nowhere' Claims."
If only that were the case. Rather than Palin defending her Bridge claim by actually engaging with reporters about the issue, readers discover that Palin on Tuesday simply repeated, yet again, that she opposed Alaska's infamous Bridge to Nowhere. In truth, she did not.
But you know what? She's going to make that claim on Wednesday and Thursday, too. That's not going to be a case of Palin defending her Bridge claim, that will be Palin simply regurgitating her Bridge claim. The press ought to distinguish between the two.