Journalists and campaign dance

The latest jockeying for power in the journalist/source dance is described in this article about the decision by the RNC to restrict access to a program associated with CNN (formerly NBC) anchor Campbell Brown, who asked some questions about Sarah Palin deemed overly combative.  Given the other actions outside the arena, which receive little if any attention, this little conflict may seem to be relatively insignificant, but it does illustrate an important relationship that we will discuss.


9 Responses to “Journalists and campaign dance”

  1. Michael Patrick Says:

    Tucker Bounds came to the interview without proof of any decision Palin made as commander of the Alaska National Guard. He made a mistake by failing to research his claim. Brown asked a valid question. Too bad it was her instead of Chris Matthews:

  2. Ben Says:

    I don’t think that this is insignificant at all. It should be the responsibility of good journalists to demand the facts, and ask pointed questions if necessary. This is also why the BBC is seen as “anti” almost any issue, because they are unafraid to ask questions that make people uncomfortable. If the media’s right to ask pertinent questions is restricted by politicians, then what is the media there for? We may as well just watch the campaign advertisements and nothing else if candidates don’t want to be questioned.

  3. Bobby Says:

    Quick correction: Campbell Brown works for CNN.

    Also, I agree with Ben. In separating the tabloid press from major, credible news organizations, it is the responsibility of the credible press to question the powers that be. For example, it took Clark Hoyt, the current public editor of the Times, to write an article on the shock therapy treatment Thomas Eagleton, the 1972 Democratic VP nominee, received for the issue to see daylight. The issue, many would say, crippled the McGovern campaign through Nov., as Eagleton was forced to step down from the campaign.

    If the media are to err in a democracy, we should hope they err on the side of going too far over not going far enough. (This opinion is only for issues concerning Mrs. Palin; the media and the issues of her family are a completely different matter, and require different judgement.)

  4. Madison Says:

    I think Brown made some very good points, though perhaps she could have been less defensive, it was obvious that Bounds was uninformed but she kept hounding him. However, I feel the McCain campaign reaction was ridiculous. Why would you deny yourself air-time, and therefore publicity because of this incident? Brown asked appropriate questions, but they are punishing CNN, who has fair to both candidates. It doesn’t make sense to me.

  5. John Odum Says:

    I agree with Ben that it’s the media’s job to upset the status quo a little but I don’t really see how Gov. Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy is in any way pertinent to her role as a vice-presidential candidate. Some would argue that if she can’t control her daughter then she can’t control a nation but in all honesty, who CAN control a teenager? All we do is make mistakes and it sounds like Bristol’s trying to make up for hers. Isn’t that evidence that Palin has instilled her values in her children? I’ve come to find that the media these days has become to partisan and biased yet most would openly deny that they have any sort of agenda. That’s why I enjoy The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. At least they’re up-front with where they stand.

    Well, I digress. Media bad. Politicians bad. Both of them try to bring out the worst in each other. America suffers as a whole because of it.

  6. Oscar Says:

    While I have to say that Tucker Bounds was completely unprepared for the question and didn’t come near to answering, I found Campbell Brown’s approach too aggressive. Throughout the interview Brown interrupts Bounds repeatedly (of course this is while he’s dancing around the issue). I found her pseudo-question about Bristol’s pregnancy to be ridiculous. She frames the question as to how Palin could have “subjected her” (daughter) to this … in a way insinuating that Palin is a bad mother for accepting this offer.

    I am surprised the RNC is behaving so childishly over some spokesman supposedly being roughed up.

  7. Priscilla Says:

    I don’t think Brown was out of line by any means in asking the questions about Palin’s experience with executive decisions dealing with foreign policy or the deployment of the Alaskan National Guard. I agree that the representative from the campaign party was not fully prepared to answer the questions dealing with her experience and that is partly to due because like Obama, Palin lacks the experience in dealing with foreign policy issues. I think the GOP sort of brought this one on themselves as they are the ones who made such a big deal out of Obama’s lack of experience. Now the media and Obama are just capitalizing on the fact that they look like hypocrites.

  8. Ben Says:

    Just to touch quickly on what John said about Bristol’s pregnancy having no bearing on Palin’s vice-presidential bid. I completely agree with that statement, however I also think that it is ironic that despite her daughter’s teen pregnancy, Palin would continue her support for abstinence only education in public schools. As we all know, abstinence works 100% of the time, except when it doesn’t, and the republican party’s continued support for this failed policy (among others) highlights the fact that the “change” promised by the McCain Palin ticket does not, in fact, deviate for the standard republican platform on almost all pertinent social issues.

    With that being said, I think that Bristol’s pregnancy should not be an issue in the race, and I think that it has been commendable of the Democratic candidates not to make it an issue.

  9. John Odum Says:

    Ben, you and I seem to agree a lot when it comes to politics.

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