• Charlie Gibson's cheat sheet

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    FDL offers a glimpse of the Palin interview:

    Questions that will NOT be asked:

    (1) Why are you refusing to testify in an investigation of abuse of power now when you promised to testify before?

    (2) Why did you inquire into your ability to ban books when you were Mayor?

    (3) What books did you want to ban?

    (4) Do you believe in the Theory of Evolution? Why or why not?

  • NYT's Patrick Healy needs a new beat

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    When Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race in June we thought one of the benefits would be that readers would be spared reading Patrick ("Cackle") Healy's tortured campaign reporting on Clinton. Alas, he's still hacking away. Today, Healy adopts the latest Beltway media critique that Clinton just isn't going after Sarah Palin hard enough on the campaign trail. (Did we miss something or is Clinton suddenly on the Dem ticket?)

    The Times headline reads, "Clinton Stumps for Obama, but With Little Fire at Palin." But in the piece Healy concedes "The absence of heavy fire directed at Ms. Palin had been expected." So why is this news, other than the Times, and Healy, pushing a not-so-subtle Clinton dig?

  • Narratives

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    Yglesias says narratives, not one-off factchecks, are what matters -- and that the media hasn't assigned negative narratives to McCain as readily as they have to Democrats. He's right.

  • WSJ re: Bride to Nowhere

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    "Serious caveats." That's what the Journal news team claims must be attached to Palin's suggestion that she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere. For us, that still seems like weak language given the facts of Palin's support for the infamous bridge.

  • Can the press no longer cover campaigns?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Ezra Klein wonders out loud:

    I think one aspect of the modern press that doesn't get enough attention -- either among folks in the media or folks critiquing it -- is the transition from the fundamental scarcity being information to information being in abundance and the fundamental scarcity being mediation.

  • Brokaw misstates the facts

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    While defending his on-air Democratic convention comment that it's difficult for Democrats to criticize John McCain on national security because McCain was a POW during the Vietnam War while Clinton tried to avoid the draft.

    Responding to FAIR, Brokaw claimed his comment came before Clinton spoke at the convention. It did not.

  • News media blackout on civil liberties & executive power

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    John Hanrahan, former executive director of The Fund for Investigative Journalism and reporter for The Washington Post, writes at Nieman Watchdog:

    Thus far, the mainstream press has told us virtually nothing in their day-to-day coverage of the campaign about where Obama and McCain stand on what both many conservative and liberal scholars have identified as the threat to civil liberties posed by excessive presidential powers. Moderators of the 2007-early 2008 debates were likewise negligent in asking about these issues.


    If we as a nation are truly serious about our young men and women in the military putting their lives on the line to defend our liberties, isn't it worth having a discussion of what exactly those liberties are – and what is the state of those liberties today? How much faith do our leaders really have in the Constitution? We need more reporting on these issues. We need to hear McCain and Obama debate these issues. It's up to the candidates and the press to make it happen.

    I'm sure many reporters would say they aren't covering the candidates' positions on these matters because the candidates aren't talking about them. But that's precisely why reporters should be asking these questions.