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Debate Coverage

The first article I read was from Time Magazine and it was about grading the first presidential debate. There is one photo at the top of the two candidates shaking hands at the debate, otherwise its all text. The article was split into two parts, grading each candidate separately but using the same criteria such as substance, style, defense, offense and overall. The author seemed to think very highly of Obama’s speech, and stated that McCain’s was decent at best. Every paragraph grading McCain started on a negative tone, saying his arguments were hard to follow, cluttered and jumpy. It was also pointed out that Obama was always sharp and well prepared for anything McCain threw at him. The grading of Obama used very positive and complimentary wording, saying he was eager to express his views and polished, confident, focused. The author overall graded McCain a B- and Obama an A- , and even went as far as to say that if Obama keeps this up he will be very tough to beat come election day. This article puts a lot of support into the idea that the debates are the most important part of the decision process, which I don’t think to be necessarily the case, though they are definitely very important.


A similar article from the New York Times talked about the debate and how now there is a new debate as to who won. There are more images in this article, the largest at the top of Obama at a rally the next day. There are smaller images throughout the article of McCain shaking hands and of the two candidates on their podiums. The article talks about how McCain has claimed that the (liberal) media called it a tie, but he considers that a win. However the article does not favor either candidate, mainly just talking about how everyone is split on who they think won. It also talks about what each party was doing the next day to criticize and analyze their opponent after what they said the night before. This article also brought up a valid point that many viewers base their judgment more on what they read and see after than the actual debate itself. The general consensus from this article is that the debate did not change the election drastically overall, unlike the Time article that put a lot of importance on the debates and chose a clear winner.


The last bit of coverage that I looked at was an interview with Rudy Giuliani from Hannity and Colmes on FOXnews.com. Giuliani believes that McCain won a huge victory after the first debate, mainly basing his judgment on how Obama constantly said, “You’re right John? and how he was always on the defensive. The interview is in question-answer format with Hannity asking questions and Giuliani rattling off answers, all of which are very pro-McCain. Hannity even implies that he believes McCain came off more “presidential? than Obama. It is interesting to see how this article is the opposite of the NY Times, where it has both the interviewer and interviewee in favor of McCain, rather than Obama. It does make sense though, coming from FOX News which is known to be more conservative.