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Embargo Works, Millions Fail to Notice

July 21st, 2008 by Steven Gardner

Last week I received a preview of the speech Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain planned to give Saturday on the radio, something he’s doing once a week from now to at least November, maybe until 2012. Before that, though, I received a link to an mp3 that would go live once Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray gave the Democratic response to President Bush’s weekly speech . Both were embargoed, McCain’s by explicit instruction and Murray’s by the fact that it wasn’t live.

Ignoring embargo instructions is kind of a not all-too uncommon practice at some dailies. I suppose it’s held for certain situations, ones in which the information is critical to know now and others when more than 37 people care.

I checked online and from what I can tell no one broke either embargo on this one. Also from what I can tell, neither radio address received widespread play. McCain’s criticism of Obama, which was similar to what he said in passing on his Conan O’Brien appearance , was referenced, but not covered. Murray’s comments appear even less frequently.

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2 Responses to “Embargo Works, Millions Fail to Notice”

  1. Bob Meadows Says:

    “McCain’s criticism of Obama, which was similar to what he said in passing on his Conan O’Brien appearance, was referenced, but not covered.”

    It’s probably just as well, since the news media usually do little more than report that a speech was made and include far more of what was said by critics and opponents than by the speaker — unless, of course, the reporters favor the speaker; in which case the opposite occurs.

    Although it is not an entertaining book, this is a good discussion of the way the news media often fail to inform (and even mislead) the public:
    Bush’s War: Media Bias and Justifications for War in a Terrorist Age, by Jim A. Kuypers.
    http://www.amazon.com/Bushs-War-Justifications-Terrorist-Communication/dp/074253653X

  2. Nikky Says:

    I recall hearing Murray’s comments on NPR, so they did appear. :)

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