Friday, October 29
Bin Laden video--New Tape
Maria Newman, New York Times, October 29, 2004

Al-Jazeera via AFP-Getty Images

The tape is the first featuring Osama bin Laden to surface in more than a year and comes just days before the U.S. elections.

The fake troops in Bush's new ad
mithras the prophet,
October 28, 2004, (From the diaries -- kos)

The battle of the living room screens
Dan Glaister,The Guardian, October 30, 2004

While the candidates race through the swing states, the real election battleground is the American living room.
Each night, and throughout the day on many cable channels, the pundits and pontificators create their own frenzy, feeding on and exaggerating events on the campaign trail.

Unlike British television news, the American networks thrive on their partisanship. And the presenters, too, are proud to wear their political beliefs on their sleeves.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox News has Bill O'Reilly, rumpled and snarling, renowned for telling his guests to "shut up", and embroiled in a less than savoury lawsuit involving a young female Fox producer and allegations of phone sex.

CBS, if you believe the Bush administration, is the liberal home of the veteran anchor Dan Rather and his 60 Minutes programme.

MSNBC has Ron Reagan, liberal son of the late president, an engaging and unflappable presence.

Facing him most nights on MSNBC is Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman for Florida and a self-proclaimed redneck. His role seems to be to try to inflame Reagan and the other liberals on the channel's After Hours political talkshow.

ABC has Chris Matthews, the closest US television gets to a Jeremy Paxman, renowned for his forensic attention to detail. A political junkie and policy wonk, his hoarse-of-voice pumped-up persona communicates an enthusiasm for politics that is both irritating and engaging.

Then there is CNN, the doyen of round-the-clock cable channels. CNN is a Republican surrogate or an example of the liberal degradation of the nation's media, depending whom you ask and which part of the country they live in.

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