Watchdog Blog

Archive for March, 2008

Mary C. Curtis: Hillary’s Phone Call with the Trotter Group

In the middle of a trip this week through North Carolina, Hillary Clinton strayed off the economic message that was the focus of speeches in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Winston-Salem to talk about race. Clinton took 30 minutes in the middle of a hectic day for a conference call with members of the Trotter Group – [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Political Talk on TV: Fiddling While Rome Burns

I imagine there are a lot of television viewers who feel as I do – weary of the mindless nitpicking that masquerades as political analysis. Set against the hard reality of a nation in deep trouble. it’s impossible to justify the endless attention to trivia. Sure, people in public liife can now and then say [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: How Bizarre: Iowa Counts but Florida and Michigan Don’t

Longboat Key, FL–If the government announced, “Sorry folks, no presidential election this year,” Americans would take to the streets and blood would spill. But deny a substantial chunk of voters a chance to participate in a key part of that election, the nominating process, and the reaction is muted at best. In the months I’ve [...]

Carolyn Lewis: First Get the Story, Then Interpret It

Take a piece of news just arrived on the Associated Press wire and combine it with a television pundit of large ego and you have a combustible piece of journalism. So it was on the evening of March 20 on MSNBC. That night, in prime time, Keth Olbermann was so aroused by a report that [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Jesus in Black and White

Being black didn’t make me any more susceptible to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s more outrageous theories. Being a lifelong Catholic, the fire-and-brimstone style of preaching was never my tradition. But the interpretations – too often through a racial prism, that have become as endless as the replays of his more fiery sermons – took me [...]

Barry Sussman: Which Is It: a Blowout or a Tight Race?

The poll numbers these days are a big tease. They are promising an enormous Democratic blowout while at the same time showing pretty much a dead heat. The latest entry is a Pew Research Center poll showing that fewer people call themselves Republicans these days—fewer than at any time in 16 years of polling by [...]

Myra MacPherson: Pastor Imperfect

Twenty years ago I watched in amazement as a Southern audience gave Jesse Jackson a stomping, hooting standing ovation during his 1988 Presidential campaign. What was notable was that the entire hall was filled with down-at-the heels coalminers–and each and every one was white. Hitting hard at Reagonomics, which had double-punched working class men and [...]

Saul Friedman: An Untouched Issue: The Aging of America

If I may interrupt the campaign for a moment to bring up a mega-issue that is barely discussed but will confront the next several presidents–the aging of America and its consequences. Older people, according to most polls, are the most diligent voters. And according to a September Pew Research study, people 50 years and older [...]

Saul Friedman: 3,983—but Who’s Counting?

Conventional political wisdom keeps saying that people have lost interest in the Iraq war, that it’s no longer an issue. It’s the economy again, stupid. Well I know at least eight American families who would disagree. They are grieving for eight soldiers killed March 10 in separate incidents in the non-Iraq war. Another four were [...]

Dan Froomkin: Celebrating I.F. Stone’s Birthday By Encouraging Independent Journalism

I.F. Stone’s 100th birthday comes at what feels like a real low point in terms of the iconoclastic, independent journalism with which Stone is so unmistakably identified. So it’s particularly appropriate that the observations of Stone’s birthday aren’t just fond looks back at the rebel journalist’s storied career; they have a strong focus on strengthening [...]