Vivian Lee

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It doesn't seem to be unusual for the media to mention a positive story for the McCain campaign, only to be explained away by a surrogate or two. But ABC News outdid themselves today. In a four page online article about the 2008 presidential feud for female voters and a byline of McCain doubling their female volunteers, ABC News managed to squeeze in five different quotes/remarks to rebuke any positive news for the McCain/Palin ticket.

Quote ratio? Five to one, if you include the quote from Obama's campaign ad. Five views/endorsements favoring Obama and one perspective from McCain's campaign/surrogates. You have to love all that balance.

Here's ABC News' interpretation of the story:

How in the world such anti-gun ownership attitude even entered the State of Mississippi is beyond me. But here it is, in black and white, for you to shake your head in disbelief. In the capital of the Mississippi, a city councilman has determined the reason for violent crime is that pawn shops sell guns. He wants to try to ban gun sales in the city.
Jackson City Councilman Kenneth Stokes said he wants to propose a city ordinance that takes away pawn shop’s ability to sell guns.

“There’s too much violence in the city of Jackson,” Stokes said today. “I asked the young folks, where are they getting their guns and they say the pawn shops. I asked the older people where are they getting their guns and they say the pawn shops. We need to do something to make our city safe again.”
Of course Mr. Stokes doesn't realize that he cannot lawfully do this. And he doesn't realize that restricting a purchase in the city limits will not prevent criminals from getting guns in neighboring suburbs. And he doesn't understand that preventing lawful citizens from purchasing guns to protect their families and homes is what will keep the murdering thugs in his city. When criminals know that gun purchases are prohibited by law-abiding residents, they will choose to remain in that area and continue their criminal activities.

If you are a major network and want to 'target' gun owners and gun dealers in a story, what would you do? Why you would write a story about a gun dealer offering a steep discount on firearms for college students, and then only interview the dealer and those who oppose his business and his special offer.

According to an ABC News story covering Eric Thompson, owner of TGSCOM Inc., Thompson is "targeting students" whose limited income doesn't always allow for such high-dollar purchases.

The owner of TGSCOM, Eric Thompson, announced today that for the next two weeks he will sell firearms at cost in the hopes of targeting students who may be on a tight budget. Customers will have over 5,400 different kinds of firearms from which to choose.
"This offer allows students and people who might not have otherwise been able to afford a weapon to purchase one at a hefty discount and at a significant expense to myself," Thompson told
Thompson unknowingly sold firearms to the shooters at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University. Because of this, he has determined he needs to turn these tragedies around by offering steeply discounted firearms for a limited time so that citizens can afford to protect themselves and their loved ones. He plans to visit the Virginia Tech campus to speak to students who support his efforts.
"The next news story I want to be involved in is how I sold a firearm to someone who helped stop a mass murderer. By forgoing a profit, I hope to help give law-abiding citizens the tools to prevent tragedy," he said.
Sounds great, doesn't it? However, ABC News and those they interviewed for this story don't seem to think so.

In a moment that can only be described as journalistic amnesia, the NYT forgets to mention that Republican candidates remember Dr. King.

The NYT had three stories on the section of their site designated for U.S. news, reporting how the presidential candidates honored Martin Luther King, Jr.

The first story discusses the three Democratic candidates - Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards - and their appearances at various black churches on Sunday. Each candidate makes determined efforts to woo the African-American vote, while mentioning Dr. King.

The second story discusses the three Democratic candidates again, and how they chose to honor Dr. King today at various memorial services.

The three rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination stood together on the steps of the state capitol here on Monday in a brief display of political unity as they remembered the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

So were the Republican presidential candidates even aware of today's holiday honoring Dr. King?

At the now infamous CNN/YouTube Republican debate held last night in Florida, candidates received a number of questions from the over 5000 videos submitted for review. The questions were selected by a panel who went through them all, whittling down the choices to just a small number. Out of all those 5000 questions, CNN failed to choose one question about the issue of health care reform. And then CNN has the audacity to snivel about it on the Political Ticker last night. [Emphasis mine]

The issue of healthcare has sparked some of the most heated debate this campaign season on the Democratic front, but the Republican presidential contenders seemed to all but ignore what is considered a major priority for many voters.

Recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls show healthcare reform is consistently at the forefront of voter concerns along with the war in Iraq and the economy.

Candidates often find a way to include their talking points and campaign priorities in debate answers regardless of what the question posed to them actually is. Since no question was posed to the candidates about their healthcare reform plans, they all but ignored the issue choosing instead to emphasize their stances on illegal immigration and the war in Iraq.
–CNN's Emily Sherman

Abracadabra seems to be the magic word - at least for one New Hampshire Democrat and United Press International (UPI).

Prosecutors in Strafford County are claiming in court papers that former congressional candidate, Gary Dodds (D-NH) staged his own car accident and faked his disappearance in 2006 in order to garner sympathy and support for his weak campaign.

In that same disappearing Dodds spirit, UPI made the vanishing politician's party affiliation disappear. Voila!

On Saturday, State Representative Carla Blanchard Dartez (D-La.) lost her re-election bid to Republican challenger Joe Harrison in a heated and controversial run-off. Yet the largest newspaper in Louisiana, The Times-Picayune (TP), chose to bury it as an afterthought in its coverage of the statewide election results. The Times-Picayune online edition,, placed this paragraph at the end of its story.
The only two incumbent lawmakers to lose in either chamber were Democrats. Chris Hazel dispatched Rep. Rick Farrar of Pineville in the 27th District primary. Challenger Joe Harrison topped Rep. Carla Blanchard Dartez of Morgan City to claim the 51st District seat in the runoff.
The TP made no mention of the 'Buckwheat' racial slur or the other controversies which surrounded this incumbent Democrat. Why is that?