Tuesday, October 14, 2008

i feel dirty

So I was on campus today. I crossed from one admin building to another, passing front of a classroom building. On the ground was a stack of NYTs. I took one. Just touching it was abhorrent. I stuck in my briefcase and went about my business.

I had a few moments to glance at it before my lecture. I’m teaching a Master’s class in Ethics. The normative stuff is done, so the application tonight was defense counsel, prosecutors, and judges. Being defense counsel with a class that is half cops was great fun.

So the paper.

Above the fold, “Obama Details Economic Plan To Aid Victims of Fiscal Crisis.” Any mention of McCain on page 1? Of course not. Nor on page 2, page 3, and so on. Forward to page A16.

Four-fifths of the page continues the page 1 article. Large picture of Obama looking enthusiastic as the crowd is applauding him. Caption: Senator Barrack Obama before speaking Monday in Toledo, Ohio, about his new economic plans. “We’re going to have to set priorities as never before,” he said.

Facing page is similarly sized pic of McCain. He’s smiling; crowd is in the far background. Only two people close have their backs turned to him. Caption: Senator John McCain campaigned Monday at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, where he appeared with Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and her husband, Todd. His article is half the page.

No quote. No close-up of cheering fans.

You know how they large text, bold, and italic snippets to break the flow of an article? None for McCain. Obama: A candidate looks at taxes, savings and mortgages.

Inside Obama’s article taking up space – so the 4/5's vs. half page may not be too different in word count, but still is in appearance – is section called, “Candidates on the Economy.”

Under Obama’s name begins “Homeowner Relief.” He gets four bullets. McCain’s is one long paragraph. But – oh – check this out: Under McCain’s name it reads, “His campaign stance on these issues so far.” It is to laugh.

Two more topics – Obama 2 bullets, McCain one long paragraph; Obama 4 bullets, McCain 3 bullets.

And the covering the entire bottom section of the comparisons: Other proposals laid out by Mr. Obama.


On the bottom half of McCain’s page? “Distortions of Obama’s Votes and Comments on Wars.”

These people are remarkable. I wish I had a canary so I could line the cage.

McCain has a new speech on the road. Marina Lee took the considerable time to transcribe it. The full text is here. A good speech.

UPDATE by way of postscript. I noticed something much different on my drive through the Philadelphia suburbs today - different from 4 years ago. Four years ago, the signs were virtually 100% Kerry. This drive, the signs were about evenly split. Also, Palin was in Scranton today - she packed the house. Obama is spending a lot of advertising dollars here - if he had PA locked, if he were unconcerned, then 3 weeks out would have money in battleground states. I like the feel of his perceived nervousness.

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