• The Strib and Al Franken, cont'd

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    Over the weekend we noted how the Minneapolis paper seems to have its thumb on the scale while covering the very close U.S. Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman.

    We noted the oddity of Strib editor Nancy Barnes announcing, via memo, that the newspaper columnists who appear in the news pages would no longer be allowed to weigh in on the campaign, and making that announcement one day after a Strib columnist labeled Franken a slanderer of Christianity.

    Another Barnes memo, this one from September, also raised eyebrows because the editor so clearly aped right-wing talking points about the media, and practically accused her own staff of a built-in bias.

    She wrote:

    It is more important than ever that we be vigilant about stripping any bias from our reporting and/or editing...We are all human, and some among our staff may privately be pulling for one candidate or another. But let's take extra care to make sure personal opinion doesn't show up in the news pages.

  • Rachel Maddow came from "nowhere"

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    According to the New York Times, in an article today about overnight pundit sensations.

    The piece focuses on Peter Freire, the 26-year-old managing editor of the American Spectator and how he's being groomed by the right-wing Noise Machine to be a pundit. The Times notes Freire's background prior to joining the Spectator in January consisted of "a string of internships and short-term jobs."

    And yet now he's making the cable rounds dispensing wisdom. Sorta weird right? Not really, the Times suggests, because Maddow "is 35 and rose from nowhere to become a top-rated headliner on MSNBC."

    If by "nowhere," the Times is referring to her four-year career as a host on Air America, her work as an election season analyst on MSNBC and the fact that Maddow is a former Rhodes Scholar, than yeah, I guess her path and Freire's path are similar.

  • Who woulda thought

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    We'd ever hear a Fox News anchor announce this, as Eric Shawn did on Sunday while targeting Barack Obama:

    "What's more threatening, I think, to our democracy, is trying to muzzle the press; trying to ignore legitimate questions."

    It's like the last eight years never happened.

  • Paging Jon Swift

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    Just two days ago the blogger compiled the best look at the whacky Obama-related conspiracy theories right-wing bloggers have wasted so much of the campaign chasing.

    Now, as the contest enters the final stages, excitable bloggers have one more chapter to add to Swift's catalog. Rest assured, this is the one that could really take down Obama. It's true, all the A-list, GOP bloggers say so.

  • The WaPo finally notices the AP may have a problem

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    Jay Newton-Small, a writer for Time magazine, walks Washington Post reader through all the criticism that has been leveled at the AP this campaign season.

    Curious how the Post only takes the AP complaints seriously when they're raised by somebody at Time magazine, even though they've been all over the netroots for months now.

  • Joe Scarborough and the way back machine

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    On MSNBC this morning, the host, putting the current economic woes in perspective, claimed "unemployment was higher throughout most of Clinton's administration."

    Most? As Chris Edelson at The Seminal notes, if by "most" Scarborough meant unemployment was higher during 19 of the 97 months Clinton was in office, than yeah, that would be accurate.

  • Was Drudge just trying to prove our point?

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    About how his influence has cratered during his campaign cycle? And how, since the Wall Street meltdown began six weeks ago, his brand of shallow, partisan, GOP gotcha attacks have been completely ineffective?

    Well, yesterday he went all in on the very hard-to-believe tale from Pittsburgh about the McCain supporter who was mugged and whose assailant carved a "B" in her face after becoming enraged about her GOP loyalties.

    It was The Drudge Report that posted blaring headlines about the story, and it was The Drudge Report that tried to push the story into the mainstream media, perhaps in one last attempt to leave its mark on the campaign.

    Well, Drudge did leave a mark. Just not the one he wanted.

    The Pittsburgh story has now officially been declared a hoax by the police, leaving Drudge right where he was at the beginning of the week; an irrelevant bystander in the campaign season.