Watchdog Blog

Archive for September, 2008

Saul Friedman: What Hath Deregulation Wrought?

Anyone think there are too many commercials on network television, and that some of them cross the line of decency and good taste? It wasn’t always that way. Or do you think that all those commercials for this drug or that one are unseemly and possibly dangerous? That wasn’t always permitted. Are you as confident [...]

Saul Friedman: Medicare Choices–Are They Necessary?

This is the time of the year the government perpetuates a problem for millions of Americans, and most of the press goes along because of its superficial knowledge. The issue is Medicare Part D, which too few of my colleagues in the press know about. Each year since the Part D drug benefit, passed by [...]

Barry Sussman: Questions For and About McCain

John McCain doesn’t seem interested in dealing with very serious questions about his years as a Navy pilot, his time as a prisoner of war and why as a U.S. Senator, according to writer Sidney Schanberg, he “has worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Debates as Campaign Game Shows

Now that the national party conventions are history the biggest remaining political shows are the debates. The three presidential contests kick off Sept. 26 and conclude Oct. 15. The vice-presidential candidates go at it Oct. 2. I have a bit of time, therefore, to debate with myself about whether to watch any of it. Debates [...]

Morton Mintz: On Going to the Talk-Show Hosts for Guidance

George J. Esseff, Sr., who describes himself ” as one of the world’s most successful Titanium entrepreneurs,” bought a full-page ad in the New York Times to publicize his “sincere recommendation” to the heads of the three largest television networks. “If you truly want to restore the credibility of your News Bureaus by getting back [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Biden Tries to Change the Narrative

It can’t be easy for Joe Biden. After all, how can years of Senate experience match up against the biggest celebrity on the political scene? When Biden came to Charlotte, N.C., Sunday night, his tone sometimes veered toward the dramatic, but his message was meat and potatoes. Even the crowd’s chant of “Let’s go, Joe!” [...]

Dan Froomkin: Fact Checking Is So 20 Minutes Ago

Fact checking the presidential candidates is so 20 minutes ago. The fact is, facts don’t seem to matter anymore. Certain political apparatchiks have learned over the years that the effectiveness of a given statement has remarkably little to do with whether it’s true or not. How much it gets repeated by others is a much [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Mucho Macho Sarah

Am I the only person in America who thinks Sarah Palin is SCARY? That she is a female candidate for vice-president may be different and interesting, but it is a distraction from the essential question: What kind of president would she be if called on to fill that high office? Briefly unleashed from McCain’s apron [...]

Morton Mintz: Ask Palin: Is the Vice President’s Office Part of the Executive Branch?

Few questions Charlie Gibson may ask of Sarah Palin when he interviews the Republican vice presidential nominee for ABC News this week could be more fundamental than this one: Is the Office of the Vice President fully part of the Executive Branch? Palin’s answer—or non-answer—could tell voters whether she views the office she seeks in [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Sex Education and Sarah and Bristol Palin

As a grandfather of eight inquisitive kids, 14 and under, I’ve had my share of squirmy moments. “Pop, what’s Viagra?” I hope now that none of my grandkids quiz me about Levi Johnston and what exactly he did that led to his warm greeting by John McCain at the Republican convention. Some in the media [...]