Froomkin on the Debate

Here’s the Dan Froomkin Washington Post article Dave recommended in the comments to a previous entry. It’s pretty much a one-stop shop for all your spin needs (no need to go to the Pottery Barn and risk breaking something).

Like Dave, I’m intrigued by Froomkin’s defensiveness about traditional journalism against the blogger hordes. Froomkin comments at one point,

So if you thought for a minute that trained, professional journalists had lost their value in the Internet age, today’s coverage proves that when it comes to helping the public assess the veracity of politicians, there is simply no substitute.

I don’t see why this has to be an either-or situation. It seems pretty clear that both groups can complement each other. Froomkin does point to some useful materials that clairfy some of factual information at stake in the debates:

  • Human Rights Watch on the pursuit of Osama bin Laden.
  • Poland’s role in the Coalition of the Willing, via WaPost’s Debate Referee
  • Alessandra Stanley on Bush and Kerry’s performance. I understand why Bush’s “defensiveness” might be a bad thing, but can anyone explain to me why it’s such a bad thing that Kerry “cannot suppress his inner overeager A student?” Is this just a (weak) attempt at equal-opportunity snark?

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