The Corner

The Little Things

In The Washington Post, reporter John F. Harris offers today that the Bush-Kerry race is getting “personal.” (I would suggest the candidates are no more “personal” in their attacks than the reporters are.) In the big picture, the story offers both campaigns’ perspectives and charges, but note the little things.

First, this sentence is annoying: “Bush’s TV ad accused Kerry of voting against legislation to pay for military needs in Iraq after originally supporting the U.S. invasion.” Can’t the reporter suggest to readers that it’s not an accusation, but fact, that Kerry voted against the $87 billion supplemental bill for the war?

Second, notice how Kerry gets more words in quotes, and how it’s always “Kerry said” or “Kerry told.” Late in the story, Bush “needled” Kerry and “joined in the sniping.” Harris’s roughest line on Kerry is his defense of his vote against the $87 billion supplemental was a “less-than-crisp statement defending the nuances of his position.”

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Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...

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