Thursday, February 26

100% news-free 

It was a long plane ride to LA. Kerry wouldn't talk to us about politics. But Patricia Wilson has to crank out something, preferably with some controversy. Kerry hasn't seen that Mel Gibson movie, doesn't know if he will, he's careful, ever-cautious.

Watch it JFK, hell hath no fury like a journalist scorned.

Wednesday, February 25

One fine wire-service reporter 

Patricia Wilson again serves up a nice set of wire-service stories that puts AP's Nedra Pickler to shame, with this as the latest . Notice how she only takes one relevant Bush campaign quote to provide the requisite "balance" to the story. I really like the way Wilson works this Kerry message in,

A decorated Vietnam War veteran who has campaigned on his combat record, Kerry said it was time "to put patriotism back in the driver's seat."
"We need to encourage a corporate culture where companies provide a fair break for workers and a fair return for shareholders instead of a fast buck and a false bottom line," he said. "Where corporations make profits the old-fashioned way -- by building our economy, not bilking our people."

Monday, February 23

Bush on the run 

More fine work from Wilson. Why aren't more local dailies running work of this quality instead of the hash that Nedra Pickler makes of the news.

Sunday, February 22

Another great article  

Patricia Wilson following Kerry. Once again, an example of what really good wire service reporting can be like.

No "trick-knee" Chambliss for Wilson 

In contrast to rival Nedra Pickler, Patricia Wilson doesn't take the bait offerred by Max Cleland, in her version of Kerry's response to Saxby "Trick-knee" Chambliss' unsubstantiated attacks on Kerry's voting record. Instead, she describes the designated mudslinger as "Senator Saxby Chambliss, a leading Georgia Republican"

It's one of those falsely-balanced side A says, side B responds stories that tries to provide context. These stories are always tough when one side is blatantly lying. Wilson's version falls flat.

Thursday, February 19

Kerry and AFL-CIO 

Wilson reports on the Democratic campaign for the Presidential nomination. Workmanlike effort, but Nedra Pickler really outshines her today.

Banner day for wire service journalism when we have the two major reporters pumping out good stuff.

Wednesday, February 18

National innumeracy day 

Patricia Wilson makes two contributions to our annual holiday where we all can show our disdain for numbers.

First, on Kerry's victory

Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry on Tuesday eked out a victory over John Edwards ... In a subdued victory speech, Kerry, who is fighting a cold and dealing with a persistent cough, neither mentioned the narrow margin of his win -- just a few percentage points -- nor his rivals, focusing instead on a potential matchup with President Bush in November.

Excuse me if I'm not a professional, but wouldn't "several" be a better description of the number of percentage points between 39.7 and 34.3. Or. why not actually use the number 5 as the closest approximation of the number of points. Looks like the narrative takes precedence over the fact.
Wilson's second piece focuses on jobs, and his confession that the employment forecast from Bush's Council of Economics Advisors was a faith-based projection, not to be confused with tricky things like statistics or actual numbers. Our first "MBA President" doesn't give a hoot about the actual number of jobs in America, and Kerry takes him to task.

And speaking of narrative, Kerry's a "blueblood" in contrast to the humble origins of John Edwards.

Overall good work by Wilson today, aside from the nit-picking.

Tuesday, February 17


Patricia Wilson with a dynamite wire-service piece.

Friday, February 13

Wilson back in frontrunner land 

Patricia Wilson back on the campaign trail , now vying with archrival Nedra Pickler in covering Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry. Wilson's first piece features two of the RNC major strategies.

If you're not familar with Rovian agitprop, it follows some standard themes.

First is the Big Lie. Find your biggest vulnerabilities and accuse your opponent of that very flaw. Republicans know that Bush's single biggest liability is his unparalleled record of crony capitalism, rewarding the richest Americans with massive tax cuts and favorable legislation at the expense of most Americans. How to counter this? Accuse John Kerry of being a tool of special interests in as many ways as possible, from Heinz factories in foreign countries to special interest lobbyist money. Republicans know that Americans are viscerally repelled by the type of smear campaigning that Rove masters, so their first pass is accusing Democrats of running a "dirty campaign" while launching the Jane Fonda attacks and the Drudge bimbo smears.

Second, and equally important to the Republicans is decreasing turnout and increasing cynicism. This makes their superior "Get out the vote" efforts and high propensity voters more valuable. That's why they sent their 6 million member mailing list the first pass of their effort to smear Kerry with special interest money. Imagine voting after you've watched Pee Wee Herman saying "I know you are but what am I" for eight months. Echoing Dean's comments about Kerry and lobbyist contributions is part of a pointed effort to get those damned Deaniacs and their money as far away as possible from the Presidential campaign.

Wilson's article is better than AP's version, but she's an unwitting coconspirator in this week's RNC strategy.

Monday, February 9

Where's Patricia? 

Nedra Pickler posts again from the Kerry campaign. Nothing from Patricia Wilson. Has Nedra finally triumphed in this rivalry between the two queens of the wires? Or will Ms. Wilson turn up with the frontrunner again ? Or is Reuters thinking of outsourcing their coverage of the Presidential election?

Thursday, February 5

From Nedra's hometown 

Patricia Wilson sets her byline in Flint, Michigan, hometown of her archrival Nedra Pickler. The story adds a "do-or-die" in the Badger state fillip to Wilson's standard Dean=loser story, but the real question is "Where's Nedra?" Pickler's story today relies on quotes from Dean's website, leading to speculation that Nedra may finally have been kicked off the Dean press junket, cruelly preventing her triumphant return to her humble beginnings.

They killed Nedra, the bastards.

Wednesday, February 4

The L Word 

Longshot !

Wilson keeps rewriting Dean's obituary as " the longshot-turned-hotshot who is now the longest of long shots ... reached for a glazed doughnut, despite the 12 pounds he says he has packed onto his stocky frame over the past few months, fuel for a sputtering campaign."

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