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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 2, 2008 / 28 Iyar 5768

Reality vs. the Mythmakers

By David Broder


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As dramatic as the contests have been for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, they have not been enough to satisfy the mythmakers. With the general election imminent, the fiction writers in both parties insist on versions of the battle that bear little resemblance to reality.


How often, for example, have you heard or read that Hillary Clinton has endured a far-rougher hazing from the press and the public than has Barack Obama? Or that John McCain has gotten a free ride from the punditocracy?


The best evidence to test these and other propositions arrived last week in a report from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.


From Jan. 1 through the early spring primaries, teams of researchers monitored the campaign coverage of 46 news outlets, among them the most prominent and influential newspapers, network television and cable broadcasts, and Web sites.


The researchers eliminated reports that dealt primarily with events of the day, the horse-race pieces about tactics, strategies and results, filtering out the variations dependent on how well the candidates were doing at the moment. They eliminated almost four-fifths of the 8,800 items. What was left were what they call "the dominant personal narratives in the media," analyzing "the candidates' character, history, leadership and appeal." Each story was rated as positive, negative or neutral.


From the start of the year through the Texas and Ohio primaries in March, the media story lines about Obama and Clinton "were almost identical in tone, and were both twice as positive as negative," the study found. McCain fared less well. Negative stories about the Arizona senator outnumbered positive ones by 14 percentage points, almost entirely because of the heavy emphasis on assertions that he was not a true or reliable conservative.


But when the scholars looked at the trends over time, they found a very different picture. As the primaries unfolded, Obama's positive ratings declined, while Clinton, after cratering around the time of the South Carolina primary, recovered and McCain experienced a steady improvement.


The authors don't have figures for April and May, but they strongly suspect that the Jeremiah Wright flap and other issues have continued to erode Obama's ratings, while McCain has continued to gain. Since patterns are reflected in the polls, this points to a close election.


The positives and negatives for the two likely nominees are pretty much what you would expect. Working for Obama are his identification with hope and change and his reputation for charisma and eloquence. The biggest negative — and a growing one — is the claim that he lacks experience.


McCain's assets are his reputation for strong character and conviction, and the belief that his appeal to independents bolsters his chances of winning in November.


No surprises there. But a similar analysis of the Clinton narrative rebuts her favorite myths. As expected, her strong suit is the belief that, as she has said, her experience would make her "ready on Day One" for the presidency. But her main negative is that she represents the past — not that she has been caricatured in a way that makes her seem cold or lacking in real convictions.


In addition to these myth-correcting generalizations, the report offers a variety of other insights.


As in 2004, horse-race coverage totally dominates, with policy stories making up only 7 percent of the filings and examinations of the candidates' records only 2 percent. That is probably the greatest indictment of the media.


Further indications of the trivialization of the coverage can be found by recounting the top campaign stories from January through early May.


Far out front were examinations of Obama's relationship with Wright. Then came the controversy over the Democratic superdelegates, Obama's comments on "bitter" Pennsylvania voters clinging to guns and G=d, the fight over the Florida and Michigan delegations, the questionable New York Times story about McCain and a female lobbyist, and the role of Bill Clinton in his wife's campaign.


You can't read that list without thinking that we in the media have not only accepted many myths in this campaign but have done our best to dumb down the process.


It would be nice to think the next five months will be better, but I wouldn't guarantee it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



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Previously:

05/29/08: Hamilton Jordan's Message to Obama
05/27/08: Let the Veepstakes Begin
05/19/08: The mental exercise of placing Obama in the Oval Office requires more imagination than did moving Reagan from the silver screen to Pennsylvania Ave.
05/15/08: For Obama, a Lost Moment
05/12/08: The price of delay
05/08/08: Phoniness and inevitability
05/05/08: Winning by destruction: An insider reveals the Hillary game plan
05/01/08: Candidates' high-mindedness is rooted in religiosity; but Hillary and McCain don't have hater as inspiration


© 2008, by WPWG

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