Local Papers’ Debate Coverage: Staten Island Advance Wins


Post-debate polls generally had it for Obama (CBS: “Uncommitted Voters Say Obama Won Final Debate”; CNN: “Debate watchers say Obama wins”; Bloomberg: “Obama Keeps Advantage Over McCain in Post-Debate,” etc).

Local newspaper ran true to form in their headlines. The Times, typically bending over backwards to look fair ‘n’ balanced, said “McCain Presses Obama in Final Debate.” “McATTACK,” hollered the Republican pamphlet New York Post. “Blistering barrage at Obama in Last Debate.” (Inside: “Get-Tough Mac Has Last Licks — Ties Bam to ‘Class War’ and ‘Terrorist.'” The lunchpail-Democrat suitor Daily News announced “OBAMA AND THE WHINER.”

The Staten Island Advance seemed to be watching a different debate — and for once, we’re not speaking figuratively: the paper leads with the Staten Island congressional debate, which they say was “laced with passion, humor.” The passion doesn’t come across, but we easily found the humor.

Nervous about the legacy of drunk-driving, second-family-having, and not-running incumbent Vito Fossella, Democrat Michael McMahon “quoted a line from the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington about never disgracing the office to which he seeks to be elected, while [Republican candidate Bob] Straniere, an Eagle Scout, paraphrased the Boy Scout pledge about honor and duty.”

Also funny: McMahon describing his well-manicured self as “just a plain country lawyer.” The four candidates — they let the Independent and Conservative party guys in — “held forth last night on the economy, health care, traffic and the war in Iraq,” said the Advance.

The paper also covered the Presidential debate via AP, but by now we’re not interested anymore.