"A group of Vietnam veterans has bought television time in three swing states for an advertisement that attacks Senator John Kerry, accusing him of lying about his war record, including the circumstances surrounding his medals, and betraying his comrades by later opposing the war." The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is a
"On the eve of the Democratic National Convention ... well-dressed politicians, corporate executives and their friends watched [fireworks] from a private party at a waterfront restaurant. ... Rick Rendon [was] the man in charge of the party," writes Pratap Chatterjee.
Journalism professor Jay Rosen, who attended the Democratic national convention, says the "great overlooked story in all the reporting" was the heightened security situation. "It was in your face, nonstop, in thousands of ways inside what was called, in military terms, The Perimeter," Rosen writes. "It came lunging at you as you approached the site and enveloped all when you were on site. You could have your credentials checked twenty times on a single trip from the ground floor to your seats. ...
Toby Moffett is a well-connected Washington lobbyist employed at the Livingston Group, a powerful lobby firm begun by former Republican representative Robert Livingston.
Candidates, delegates, protesters and media aren't the only folks attending the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer. Lobbyists, by the thousands, are doing "what amounts to the only real work going on at the convention - the nonstop currying of favor of elected officials by the most powerful interests in the country," the Washington Post writes.
The CIA's favorite PR firm, "the Rendon Group is playing a major behind-the-scenes role at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, arranging first-time/real-time video broadcasts each morning to each of the 56 caucuses, serving as the event's project manager, and coordinating 20 convention-related events, Rick Rendon, co-founder of the firm, told O'Dwyer's. Rendon hired Polycom Video Systems to set up secure servers in 22 hotels so leading Democrats can address each caucus at their 8 a.m.
"The Business Industry Political Action Committee's 'Prosperity Project' program targets 20 million employees in battleground states" and "pushes their companies' views of political candidates to employees via Web sites and interoffice e-mails," reports Advertising Age.
In his essay, "A Cultural Approach to Communication," Columbia University journalism professor James W. Carey identifies two views of communication -- "transmission" and "ritual." In Carey's words, the "ritual view" is communication "linked to terms such as 'sharing,' 'participation,' 'association,' 'fellowship,' and the 'possession of a common faith.' ...
PBS anchor Jim Lehrer blasted the major TV networks for limited coverage of the political conventions, since "we're about to elect a president of the United States at a time when we have young people dying in our name overseas, [and] we just had a report from the 9/11 commission which says we are not safe." NBC's Tom Brokaw countered, "These conventions are so managed, so over-managed" there's not much to report.
"One cannot conceive of other elements [that could be] put in place to create a space that's more of an affront to the idea of free expression," said U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock, after touring the Democratic National Convention's "free speech" protest zone in Boston. The zone is "bordered by cement barriers, a double row of chain-line fencing, heavy black netting, and tightly woven plastic mesh," with "coils of razor wire" along elevated train tracks.