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N&O misses historic moment?

Several readers were disappointed that The N&O today didn't give more display to the history-making element of Barack Obama as the first African-American to be nominated for president by a major political party.

The N&O's story, "Obama steps into history,' focused on that angle in the lead position on the front page. But readers thought the 1 column-story was overshadowed by a larger story, with picture, about the No Child Left Behind law.

"The history-making event is getting the nomination," said Melvyn Jordan, of Raleigh. "The coverage on your front page is so tiny. It's right there with fourth graders and babies in day care. For me as an African-American, that kind of feeds the Jesse Helms concept of minimizing the accomplishments of blacks."

Steve Merelman, Front Page Editor, noted that the convention has had lead display all week: "I am committed to equal play for the Democratic and GOP conventions, and I was trying to avoid four straight days of convention displays. This will give us flexibility next week, should local news erupt or should there be a slow day at the GOP gathering. This seemed like the day to skip as a display, given that we will display Obama's acceptance speech tomorrow morning. The acceptance speech seems like the more important moment to me, anyhow."

That was my explanation to Mr. Jordan - that Obama's acceptance speech will be more historic than the pro-forma nomination. But in retrospect, perhaps we did miss the historic moment for many.

Surviving the DNC on cable Pt. 3

All I have to say about Wednesday night's cable of coverage of the DNC is WILL THESE PEOPLE PLEASE SHUT UP?

Thanks to the endless prattle (particularly among ego-tripping MSNBC pundits), I nearly missed an unexpected barn-burner of a speech by John Kerry (which I managed to catch, in part, on CNN and C-SPAN). And I completely missed Tammy Duckworth's speech, which my girlfriend told me about after she listened to it on public radio while at work.

My advice to one and all is to watch it on C-SPAN tonight. I guarantee the electricity on stage is going to be a lot more interesting than the wind-powered commentary on the sidelines.

Surviving the DNC on cable, Pt. 2

Boys, boys, break it up.

If you've been watching MSNBC lately for the Democratic conevention (it's The Place for Politics, after all) you may have said those words to your TV screen more than once. Can't windy know-it-alls get along?

First, nighttime co-anchors Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann ganged up on morning guy Joe Scarborough, mocking him when he suggested that McCain's attack ads against Obama may be paying off in the polls.

Then, Scarborough gave a schoolyard bully-boy smackdown to correspondent David Schuster for disagreeing with him about withdrawing from Iraq. (Scarborough actually said he didn't care whether Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gets killed after we leave. Classy.)

Last night, things got really awwwwkward between Matthews and Olbermann, when the latter formed one hand into the universally-recognized gesture for blah-blah-blah after Matthews went on a bit too long (you think?) about Hillary Clinton's speech later that evening. That's when Matthews got snippy. DO NOT tell that guy to shut up.

Meanwhile, over at Fox News, where there's nary a shred of disunity, a decision was made to cut off Mark Warner's keynote speech so that Obama's link to 60s radical Bill Ayers could be treated as breaking news. To be fair to Fox, Warner's speech was kinda boring.

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