RE: “Democrats Clash on Trade, Health and Rival Tactics” (New York Times 2/27/2008).
The New York Times’ “top story” that ran the morning after last Tuesday’s debate reads like an Op-Ed at best and a script for a Saturday Night Live parody of media coverage at worst. Whereas Patrick Healy and Jeff Zeleny portray Clinton as “pugnacious” and “relentless,” they write that Obama “appeared to listen intently to her attacks before responding in even tones.” They say she “stared steadily” with “pursed lips and a furrowed brow” while “issuing withering looks — as he answered questions. She spoke forcefully at every turn” and “did not smile at him” while he “rested his chin on his hands and smiled as Mrs. Clinton criticized him.” According to Healy and Zeleny, she interrupted and “insisted,” “even vented her long-simmering frustrations,” while “Obama responded energetically.”
I witnessed both candidates listening to each other with serious, unsmiling expressions much of the debate. Both interrupted each other and the moderators. However, Clinton’s “newly aggressive tone” didn’t contribute to a “belligerent” debate–but a more balanced one, at last.
(Letter to the editor, which the New York Times did not choose for publication)