Dec 1 2006

Old Media’s Election Centrism

It’s not their party and they’ll cry if they want to

“People from the Old Media, like me, instinctively prefer a centrist style of civilized debate,” the Washington Post’s David Ignatius wrote in a pre-election column (10/18/06). It’s a revealing admission of the media’s reigning ideology, though it might more accurately be described as center-rightism: While centrism implies an evenhanded rejection of the “extremes” on both sides of the political spectrum, in practice establishment pundits, comfortable with a center-to-right spectrum of debate, almost always focus their disapproval on the real or invented excesses of the left. Prior to the 2006 midterm elections, which long promised to move the country significantly to […]

Dec 1 2006


For Issues, Go Elsewhere “In this Internet age, there’s no shortage of places to go if you want to read position papers or hear what candidates are holding forth about the economy, education, the environment, anything like that. But our job, especially in the last four or five days, is to take everything that’s coming in and crystallize it through a filter of what is popping, what seems to be the most of—I guess, what you’d call man biting dog, what’s out of the ordinary.” —CBS reporter Jim Axelrod (CNN’s Reliable Sources, 11/5/06) Some Hell Still Unresearched A glowing Baltimore […]

Dec 1 2006

Helping O’Reilly

Lies on Letterman about Christmas and Al-Qaeda

Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly and CBS talkshow host David Letterman had a well-publicized showdown on Letterman’s program in January 2006, so it came as no surprise that their next face-to-face on October 27 would be similarly heated. After the interview aired, O’Reilly accused Letterman of dishonesty for saying O’Reilly had lied on his show, and challenged Letterman to produce the evidence. O’Reilly took exception to Letterman’s crack about him (Late Night, 10/26/06): “The last time he was on the show, I caught him lying.” As O’Reilly retorted on his October 30 broadcast: Letterman caught me lying? What lie was […]

Dec 1 2006

GOP ‘Robocall’ Deception

Missing coverage of the Republican Party’s November Surprise

Toward the end of the recent midterm elections, voters in closely contested districts across the country reported getting automated calls that began, “Hi, I’m calling with information about [name of Democratic candidate].” If they listened to the rest of the message, they heard a litany of negative claims about the candidate. If they hung up—as many voters did, overwhelmed by so-called robocalls this election season—they were left with the impression that the call came from the Democrat’s campaign. And unless they listened to the entire call, the machine called them back again and again, giving them the impression that the […]