Progressive think tank urges media to raise the stakes

09/16/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Today a group of progressive leaders said they are challenging the mainstream media in the U.S. to raise their game in covering this year’s presidential election.

The Institute for America’s Future is a liberal think tank based in Washington. Today it’s president, Robert Borosage, announced that the group was launching a seven-part ad campaign in the New York Times.

Borosage said the media’s coverage has descended in recent weeks to a road to nowhere. But he says his group isn’t naïve; he says distortions and attack ads are as American as apple pie.

Paul Waldman is a senior fellow at the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America. Waldman said as Election Day approaches, the coverage gets less substantive, with more emphasis on polls and less on public policy.

Waldman said he was disappointed to see NBC Meet The Press host Tom Brokaw succumb to such thinking last weekend.

Waldman also said the media must rise to the challenge of calling out Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin when she continues to say she fought against the Bridge to Nowhere, when the facts indicate that she originally supported it.

Katrina vanden Heuval is the editor of The Nation magazine. She says Americans by and large don’t like the media these days, and one reason for that is the trivialization of issues.

Katrina vanden Heuval is a frequent guest on cable news programs. But she said she rejected an invitation last week to debate Sarah Palin on CNN with action movie actor Chuck Norris.

To see the ad placed in the New York Times, or to learn more about the Institute for America’s Future, go to

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