< Financial Times - August 17, 2000
Avenue of the Americas: Tale of two press corps
At the heart of the press corps are three reporters, known to their politically-incorrect colleagues as the "Spice Girls". The three are perhaps the most influential reporters on the Gore campaign, having covered the vice-president almost without break this year: Ceci Connolly of The Washington Post, Katharine Seelye of The New York Times and Sandra Sobieraj of the Associated Press. They can also be the most hostile to the campaign, doing little to hide their contempt for the candidate and his team.
Indeed. They left out Melinda Henneberger, probably because she doesn't count. She is paired with Katharine Q. Seelye today.
Sometime back I pointed out the difference in coverage of the candidates backgrounds. Nicholas Kristof, a terrific writer of the NY Times did Bush. He made even Bush's boyhood faults sound loveable, like Penrod. Melinda Henneberger did Gore. She spent the first five or six paragraphs repeating the faults imputed to Gore before getting down to her subject (the life and background of Gore). She never warmed up, and her writing was as plodding as Kristof's was brilliant.
The difference in bias was evident in the photos. The Bush family with Dubya as a boy, was much larger than the one used for the Gore family with Al as a boy. The Bush photo was colorized, while the Gore photo was black and white.
I thought they put one of their most capable writers on the Bush story, and one of their less capable writers on the Gore story.
I've stopped reading all campaign coverage, but I guess I'll read the Seelye-Henneberger reports now. Sigh.
-- John K. Taber