Pundits fretted that the town hall format for Tuesday's presidential exchange would yield tepid results: undecided voters posing questions with little more than a passing touch from the moderator. The media's storyline quickly shifted, however, from the pressure facing the president after the previous debate to his more energetic performance.
Since April, more than 825,000 presidential campaign ads have been broadcast in the battleground states. Oddly, the dominant Republican voice on TV hasn't been that of nominee Mitt Romney. The big advertisers are four heavily funded SuperPacs and tax-exempt groups.
Jim Lehrer was slammed for losing control of last week's presidential debate, and Martha Raddatz is confronting criticism in the lead up to Thursday's VP battle. But how much control can a moderator exert over ambitious and strong-willed candidates, especially when the stakes are so high?
There was plenty of media spin and punditry in Wednesday's debate, not just in Denver but on Twitter. The candidates appeared to be lacking in real zingers. Instead, it turns out the real conversation was happening through social media.
The 86-year-old North Dakota newspaper columnist become an Internet sensation because of her earnest, positive review of the Olive Garden restaurant in Grand Forks. Back in the '40s, she helped put Al Neuharth on a career track that led him to founding the "nation's newspaper."
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