Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos weblog has written an insightful article about how bloggers helped turn the perception of first election debate in favor of John Kerry. "Bloggers, thinktanks, the Kerry campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) all worked to fact-check Bush and point out his bizarre behaviour," he writes. "The flow of information flowed two ways, as the party establishment and allied organisations worked hand-in-hand with the blogs to gather ammunition, then blast it out to the world.
"For all the policy differences it revealed, the presidential debate last week also highlighted what has become a predominant theme in this presidential campaign: fear," the New York Times reports. "President Bush implied that Senator John Kerry's 'mixed message' on Iraq would only encourage the enemy. Mr. Kerry warned that Mr. Bush's 'certainty' could needlessly extend a bloody occupation.
The Wisconsin Advertising Project estimates that "many voters - nearly 60 percent - have not been exposed to any of the 530,000 campaign ads aired so far in the most expensive presidential campaign ever." A companion project researching local TV news "found only 44 percent of local stations offer[ed] any campaign coverage at all in the 2002 elections.
In some respects, the real presidential debate will take place in cyberspace, reports Wired magazine. "The Bush campaign has launched a massive rapid-response effort called Debate Facts to rebut challenger John Kerry's assertions during the debates," writes Louise Witt. "The campaign will provide a live feed to about 5,000 conservative blogs that subscribe to its news alerts.
After MoveOn.org accused the Gallup polling firm of using a survey methodology that stacks the deck in favor of Republicans, CNN (which uses Gallup) responded with a news segment that "implicitly confirmed a criticism of itself that was leveled in the MoveOn ad: the charge that CNN winds up 'acting as unquestioning promotional partners [with Gallup], rather than as critical journalists.'" Gallup's polls have shown a substantial lead for Bush, but other recent
"If 2000 was any indication," writes Joshua Micah Marshall, the winner of this week's presidential campaign debate "won't be determined during the 90 minute encounter itself but during the spin war that will follow it. And with the advantage the Republicans have on the cable nets, talk radio and chat TV shows, the odds are stacked in their favor." In 2000, the initial public reactions to the first Bush/Gore debate had Gore coming out on top. "It was only after several days of pundit churn that Bush became the winner," Marshall notes.
"The Kerry campaign has enlisted congressional Democrats to play down expectations of the challenger's performance in the first presidential debate this Thursday, and then flood the airwaves with jubilant analysis that he has won it." Kerry campaign officials asked press secretaries of Democratic members of Congress "to schedule their bosses on television and
U.S. lawmakers blocked a proposed "covert CIA operation to aid [Iraqi] candidates favored by Washington" - suggested because their opponents might have "covert backing from other countries, like Iran." Leading up to Afghanistan's October 9 elections, U.S.
U.S. media "gives inordinate attention to fly-by-night groups with little evidence of real support. Why? Because these groups' sensational claims make for entertaining and easily produced news stories. The result is that a Swift Boats Veterans for Truth has greater impact on the national debate than long-established activist organizations," writes the Center for Media and Democracy's Diane Farsetta.