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Favorite posts
halloween 2003 roundup (coming soon)
halloween 2002 roundup
the future of online gaming
star wars cereal review
japanese culture link of the day (12/6/2002)
japanese culture link of the day (12/23/2002)
reviews: hentai games sux0rz
anime term of the day (fan service, 02/17/2003)
retro gaming link of the day (battletech)
20 favorite movies since 1980
second japanese culture link of the day (11/20/2003)
 

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Recommended:
destroy all monsters
megatokyo
sinfest
8-bit theatre
the onion
mac hall
penny arcade
twisted kaiju theater
this modern world
dilbert
giant robot
8bit joystick
retrolounge
teleport city
stomp tokyo
cold fusion video reviews
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anime web turnpike
random abstract
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neil gaiman
william gibson
greg costikyan
xeni jardin
nasa's astronomy picture of the day
techrepublic
u.s. constitution
the democratic party's blog
indiana democratic party
center for american progress
donkey rising
tompaine.com
fark
boing boing
metafilter
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misleader
spinsanity
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this modern world
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gamespot
quake 2
 

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the truth laid bear
technorati
the lefty directory
indiana blogs

#!-usr-bin-girl
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blah3
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demagogue
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eschaton
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flit
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how appealing
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jack o'toole
juan cole
kieran healy
late night thoughts
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reachm high
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  xThursday, July 11, 2002

interesting


Writing Monday in the WaPo, Howard Kurtz related the story of an Arkansas politician who, unhappy with the coverage of his re-election campaign he was receiving in a local newspaper, appealed to a friend whose company just happened to own the paper. The paper was ordered to endorse the politician, prompting its editor to resign.

What's amazing to me is not so much the fact that the politician tried to influence the paper's position as how brazen he was about it. Kurtz quoted the Congressman's email that claimed the paper was biased against him and proposed a remedy:
Among other things, the Republican candidate asked in an e-mail that the Commercial endorse him "and have coverage that will complement such endorsement, not look contradictory. Somehow devise a plan that will allow the pendulum to swing my way for a considerable period of time until a balance is achieved."

What's more, [candidate] Dickey told the paper that he should be asked for comment on all news releases by his opponent, Democratic Rep. Mike Ross, "and don't ask him on mine all the time." Dickey also asked the Commercial to stop running letters by a local critic of his and "publish our favorable letters."


It's no secret that newpapers often take an adversarial role with politicians. And I don't know; Dickey may have even had a point that the paper was biased against him or not submitting his opponents to equal scrutiny. But it raises a warning flag when a politician solicits favorable coverage from a newspaper's owner. Readers deserve to trust that their paper's coverage, good or bad, is not the result of a backroom deal.