Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'Des Moines Register' Category

Herb Strentz: Iowa as the Center of the Political Universe

DES MOINES – Everyone wants a turn in the spotlight. Small states and smaller towns in particular position themselves as, say, the World’s Sock Capital (Fort Payne, AL), Artichoke Capital (Castroville, CA) Paddlefish Capital (Fort Thompson, SD). Indeed, you could excite spouse and family by saying next year’s vacation will be to world capitals. Even [...]

Herb Strentz: Time to Cut Back on Violence, Not Just Analyze It

In the wake of the killings at the Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Bob Schieffer on the CBS evening news wondered what the killer’s motive possibly could be. And in today’s Des Moines Register, a headline over a front-page column said we had to stop this cycle of “retribution.” Motive? Retribution? Is the press that clueless? [...]

Herb Strentz: Be Sure Your Emails Will Find You Out

DES MOINES–An ongoing sex-riddled saga and scandal in Central Iowa and its attendant news coverage call to mind the tagline for the 1963 Billy Wilder comedy “Irma La Douce” – “ A story of passion, bloodshed, desire and death…everything, in fact, that makes life worth living.” Only in the Des Moines area, it might be: [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: John Edwards, a Close Call

Democrats are extremely fortunate that they did not fall for John Edwards’ good looks, charm and smooth talking populism and make him their party’s presidential nominee in 2004. If they had, and Edwards had won the race against George W. Bush, the party and the country would now be knee-deep in the seamy story of [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Why No Correction from The Today Show?

Thank you, David Carr, of The New York Times, for clarifying for me how I got the idea that race had figured in the fatal encounter between George Zimmerman and his victim, Trayvon Martin. I must have gotten the idea through the process of osmosis that comes into play when a major news organization broadcasts [...]

Herb Strentz: Looking for Obama to Win the Iowa Caucuses, Again

Two names come to mind when one considers who will win and who will lose in the Iowa GOP caucuses Tuesday, Jan. 3. That’s when Republican party faithful will gather at 1,744 precincts across the state, ending the three or four years of political maneuvering that lead to the kickoff of the 2012 presidential campaign. [...]

Herb Strentz: Looking for a Republican HHH, to Take on the Extremists in Iowa

Where is the like of Hubert Humphrey when the Republicans so desperately need him — particularly when it comes to the Iowa GOP caucuses? The late Democratic U.S. senator and vice president (1911-1978) came to mind because of the continuing failure of just about any Iowa Republican, save one or two maybe, to speak up [...]

Herb Strentz: Are We Ready for the Iowa GOP Caucuses?

With two months to go before the Iowa Republican Party caucuses on Jan. 3, 2012, here is a one-question multiple choice quiz for you. Q: Which of the following characterizes the Iowa GOP caucuses? A. What a mess! B. Our long national nightmare is almost over! C. Hey! Let’s do this again in 2016! D. [...]

Herb Strentz: Iowa Politics and Press, Bachmann, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Inquiring minds may want to know how Iowans feel now that Rep. Michele Bachmann has dropped sharply in the GOP presidential derby. After all, the Hawkeye state often fashions itself as a presidential kingmaker, and it was Iowans — well, right-wing, evangelistic Iowans — who had crowned Bachmann as a frontrunner for the Republican Party’s [...]

Herb Strentz: Des Moines Register Ends Anonymity for Online Posts

DES MOINES–The Des Moines Register will no longer allow people to post anonymous online comments about items published in the paper. On Aug. 7, Julie Thompson, the paper’s digital editor, wrote that effective August 11th, “You will have to have a Facebook account to comment, which will eliminate use of anonymous screen names.” For years, [...]