September 26, 2008 - 5:00 AM
This is the presidential campaign where online media has come of age. There's a lot out there. Here's one humble(?) reporter's attempt to help readers wade through it all.
I'm going to start with comic relief. We need it. More with each passing day.
First up, Indecision 2008, which features the handiwork of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Co. While it's good for yucks, the sad reality is that there's a lot more truth telling among the laughs than often can be found in the blah-blah-blah coverage of the "legitimate" network and cable news programs.
Saturday Night Live is worth keeping an eye on, given its opening skits the past two weeks.
I recently came across this political humor site, which had me in stitches. Among other things, it tallies the wisecracks made by Leno, Letterman and the other late night talk show hosts.
Here's my favorite, from Jimmy Kimmel:
"How are you going to be the vice president of the United States with five kids to take care of? She's got a four-month-old of her own, she's about to become a grandmother and she's partnered with John McCain. How many diapers can one woman possibly change?"
But seriously folks, I should move on to the mainstream news coverage. Yahoo! News offers a cross-section and is not a bad place to start. The major national dailies, starting with the New York Times and Washington Post are good, as is the new kid on the block, the all-Web Politico.
Alternatives? The Guardian offers a European perspective via a Web site that is considered by many the best in the news business. Left-of-center perspectives on this side of the ocean can be found at Alternet and Huffington Post. Gristmill has top-notch news and analysis of the campaign as it relates to environmental issues.
I suppose I should list the official sites of Barack Obama and John McCain, if for no other reason than it provides an opening to mention a couple of third-party candidates, Ralph Nader on the left, Bob Barr on the right, and Ron Paul, who was all over the place when he ran during the primary. You may not be voting for any of the minor party candidates, but their sites are worth visiting because they raise important issues that the Dems and GOP aren't addressing head on.
There are a few useful odds 'n ends. Factcheck is a non-partisan truth squad analyzing the barrage of charges and counter-charges. If you want to check on the latest polls go here. And if you're still trying to make up your mind, this interactive questionnaire from USA Today tells you how the candidates stand on the issues of importance to you.
Among state and local blogs, I like what the Buffalo Pundit is doing, and the political blog of the Albany Times Union provides both statewide election coverage and a daily digest of political and government news from around New York. And, of course, there's Politics Now from my colleagues at The Buffalo News, which offers a good blend of local, state and national coverage.
Interested in how politicians are raising and spending money? Go here for state elections and here for federal. Good stuff.
Any sites you'd add to the list?