"I think there are a lot of reasons to be critical of the media in America. I think that a lot of times the media sensationalize or magnify things that aren't - that really shouldn't be. I do think there's a big move away from actual reporting, trying to report facts.
"Fear has increased in every newsroom in America," said CBS's Dan Rather during a discussion of "The Press and the Election" at Harvard University. That's fear of "a torrent of e-mails and phone calls" complaining about media coverage of controversial issues. Rather said journalists might think, "when you run this story, you're asking for trouble. ...
"On Saturday, [Republican] convention officials will begin a highly organized nationwide campaign to get volunteers to donate blood, feed the hungry and operate community health fairs. Initially, it will be part of a broader effort to draw attention away from the Democratic National Convention.
Former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed's public affairs firm Century Strategies "has raked in millions of dollars by mounting grassroots lobbying drives" for corporations, Republicans and "controversial lobbyists." Reed is also the
GOP pollster Frank Luntz's advice against 1998 rookie Senate candidate John Edwards - "it's almost impossible to go too far when it comes to demonizing lawyers" - wasn't successful, but Luntz remains influential. Molly Ivins writes that Luntz is now focusing on women undecided voters.