Last updated: September 5, 2008 - 8:27am
After several primetime speakers at this week's Republican National Convention unleashed a barrage of attacks on the news media for their coverage of vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, network news executives defended their coverage and dismissed the charges as a stale political strategy meant to distract viewers from legitimate election issues. Scrutiny of the nominee only intensified Monday when the campaign revealed that the socially conservative Palin's 17-year-old unmarried daughter, Bristol, is five months' pregnant. "Network news and cable news literally did not touch the story until the press release came out from the [McCain] campaign," said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. "So when our critics demonize that coverage, I don't know what they're pointing to. It's been a respectful handling of a sensitive matter. There is nothing to that criticism. Nothing." "What people who are politically motivated are trying to do is take every outrageous blogger that exists online and lump them into traditional media," Capus said. "And that's not a sophisticated analysis of journalism. That's someone making a political argument. Any objective analysis of the facts would come down on a different conclusion."
"It's a time-honored marketing ploy and, every time they bash the media, it means they're not talking about a vision or a plan. But the best antidote to cynical marketing is solid reporting."
-- Jon Klein, CNN
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