Watchdog Blog

Archive for September, 2008

Herb Strentz: Of Pots and Kettles, the Press and Politicians

A staple of so-called “gotcha” journalism — in which news reporters seem to celebrate the missteps of politicians — is the gaffe, the wrong words spoken at the wrong time, the off-base comment, the politically insensitive offhand remark. So it is that talkative people like Sen. Joe Biden are called gaffe-prone by the news media, [...]

Herb Strentz: Whew, That Was a Close Call(!?)

Boy, that was a close call wasn’t it? What with Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama selecting Sen. Joe Biden as a running mate, and Mitt Romney and Sen. Joe Lieberman in the wings — awaiting a nod from Republican nominee Sen. John McCain — it looked like the news media might have to knuckle down [...]

Saul Friedman: McCain’s Choice of Palin Has Made His Age an Issue

A couple of months ago, in the seniors column I write on my day job for Newsday, I rejected age as an issue in the presidential campaign. But I added, “if age is to be a factor in the coming race… perhaps the most important issue may be whom Sen. John McCain, 72, chooses as [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Disrupted by the Hurricane or Aided by It?

Politics and government nowadays are as much about stagecraft as statecraft. The “hurricane-disrupted” Republican national convention is a recent example. Gustav was more than a thousand miles away and no threat to St. Paul. The threat was to the possibility of Republicans coming across as doing politics as usual while Americans were being battered. Irony [...]

Dan Froomkin: Unqualified for Duty

One of the problems with modern political journalism is that when something manifestly absurd takes place, as long as there are people willing to argue both sides, our top reporters feel obliged to treat it as deserving of serious debate. Case in point: John McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. [...]

Carolyn Lewis: Will John McCain Live Forever?

I guess 72-year-old John McCain thinks he’s immortal. Why worry – if elected – that old age or cancer might shorten his tenure and leave the nation in the hands of a singularly ill-equipped replacement? Maybe McCain doesn’t care what happens after he’s gone because he believes he’s not going. The man who says he [...]