Our John McCain News Hunt is on a roll ...
We're amazed by the results of our John McCain News Hunt. Thanks to our partners at Huffington Post's OffTheBus, we've signed up over 800 new members, who have already done over 1,100 reviews of 150 news and opinion pieces on John McCain this week. And that doesn't even count the story reviews by regular NewsTrust stalwarts Chris Finnie, Patricia L'Herrou, Connie Deady, Jack Dinkmeyer, Dale Penn, Stephen Pizzo, Dwight Rousu, Ann Wilmer, Barry Grossheim, Joel Kulenkamp, Douglas Hord and Derek Hawkins, just to name a few. Together, we've broken several new records for NewsTrust -- thank you all!
So far, we've reviewed about 150 stories since our news hunt started on Monday. In order to reach our goal of 200 stories, we'll need to find and review at least 50 more stories between now and Monday, June 9 at 9pm Eastern. Please join our search and review some of the stories on our John McCain topic page this week-end (particularly unrated stories still up for review, marked with gray stars - read more below).
Welcome, new Off the Bus 10+ reviewers!
When we checked your stats this morning, the 'Off The Bus 10+ Reviews Club' had grown dramatically as well. Besides charter members
Paul Peete, Harv Roth, Cat Bemis, Andrew Spencer, Ardent Hollingsworth and Andrew Urban, some of our new regulars include:
Randy Morrow, Pamela Rogers, Sandy Stone, Denise Clendening, Jennifer Hageman, Michael Evelyn, Lee Beckom, Max Blum, Richard Riehl, John Bracken, Angie M. Santiago, Tom Maertens, Elaine Meyer, Mark Siet, and Randi Swindel, Jeff Clark, Kyrston Banks, Jan Scott, Peter McManus, Deborah Plummer, Sharon McIntosh and Larry Miller. Kudos to you all for your fine work!
Where does McCain stand on key issues?
Have we (and the press) done a good job covering McCain's policy positions through the stories we've submitted so far? To help answer this question, we can start with the categories used by OntheIssues.org, which has categories for International, Domestic, Economic and Social Issues.
Today, I want to concentrate on a few highlights of media coverage of McCain's stand on international issues. You may remember from my last post that earlier this week, the media concentrated on foreign policy and war and peace. Toay, however, the top story on our site was Charlie Savage's New York Times article, "Adviser Says McCain Backs Bush Wiretaps."
Savage's reporting is excellent -- he is thorough, factual, well-sourced and writes clearly. In this article, he traces a change in MCCain's stated position on presidential power regarding warrantless surveillance in a move that is winning praise for McCain from conservatives who previously doubted him. He interviews legal scholars and attempts to interview McCain and his top aide, but has his request declined. He traces the emerging story and credits other reporters and their publications by name (although not by story title). While the Times doesn't provide hyperlinks, the story by Andrew McCarthy in the National Review, "Lead, Senator", is now available on NewsTrust for review, as is Glenn Greenwald's piece for Salon, "McCain, spying and executive power: A complete reversal in 6 months", and Ryan Singel's article for Wired, "McCain: I'd Spy on Americans Secretly, Too."
Off the Bus member Jeff Clark weighed in on Savage's piece: "Excellent journalism. It gives a chance for the McCain side to explain (read: obfuscate) its position, but doesn't fudge the facts or hesitate to bring up a sharp critic like Greenwald. With journalists like Charlie Savage and more stories like this one, NYT might begin to restore its tarnished reputation."
On the issue of free trade, our associate editor Kaizar Campwala found a great story yesterday in Marketwatch, "Pushing Obama to the left: McCain's move to center means Democrats can't presume anything," by Darrell Delamaide.
On the issue of immigration, a May 23 blog post by Michael Luo at the New York Times, "McCain Says Immigration Reform Should Be Top Priority" finds another indication of MCain's "pivoting toward the general election" in a roundtable with business leaders in which he said that comprehensive immigration reform should be a top priority for the next president. The author found that notable given the demise of the immigration reform and the fact that "When Mr. McCain's presidential bid stalled last summer, many blamed his advocacy for the immigration reform bill in the Senate, which included a pathway to citizenship for the illegal immigrants already here in the country." To me that might just be a sign of what some have called "pandering" since the Chamber of Commerce supports loosened immigration restrictions so as more easily fill low-paid jobs. Interestingly, McCain had changed his position while campaigning, saying that he now placed border security as the first priority, as indicated in the March 8 AP story, I went back and found, "McCain adjusts immigration stance: GOP hopeful emphasizes securing borders first ."
On the issue of energy, Off the Bus member Tony Westbrooks submitted Carl Pope's June 3 blog post at the Huffington Post, "Global Warming Symphony #1: The Overture," which reported that "McCain has signaled that he won't participate in the debate" on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008 (S. 3036.)
How you can help this weekend
If you're looking for stories to submit and review on our John McCain topic page this week-end, why not see what we've got on each issue and what needs fleshing out. Also, try to find good journalism from across the political spectrum, so we can review media coverage from all angles. Knowing who is being cited by the best sources on the center and right can provide some perspective when trying to learn more about McCain. Another thing might be to look for good sources in McCain's home state of Arizona and to see what's being said by those who, presumably, should know him best. We're especially looking for more stories from TV and radio sources, to balance out what we've reviewed so far.
Please remember to review first any stories designated by the grey stars. Write plenty of comments about what you liked about each story and how you would improve it. (This makes your rating count more.). To give more nuanced reviews, try to look at what the article does best (e.g.: fairness, context) and give more stars for those journalistic qualities; then look at what it does a little less well and give less stars for those and so forth.
For more tips on how to join our news hunt, check our welcome page for new members. If you haven't already, please sign up to review some of the stories on our site. To quickly submit new stories on this topic, be sure to get our bookmarklet.
We cannot begin to tell you how exciting it has been for us at NewsTrust to collaborate with Huffington Post's OffTheBus team this week. Thanks to all of you who have submitted and reviewed, so far. If you have a moment, be sure to add your photo to your member profile (in the preferences section), so we can see who you are ;o). We're looking forward to learning what else you can find by the time we wrap things up on Monday, June 9th at 9 p.m. Eastern.