RNC Coverage: Hour 2

Friday, September 05, 2008

Brooks Jackson, director of Annenberg Political Fact Check, discusses the latest whirl of rumor and truth affecting both candidates.

Paul Ekman, director of the Paul Ekman Group, discusses facial expressions to detect lying in politicians.

Fred Melo, public safety reporter with St.Paul Pioneer Press, talks about protests at the Republican convention.

Nate Silver, founder of, analyzes the week's events at the Republican convention.


Paul Ekman, Brooks Jackson, Fred Melo and Nate Silver

Comments [57]

Leon Freilich from Park Slope


Obama's like the postage stamp

"USA First-Class Forever"

Except for this: he won't be licked--

American voters are too clever

Sep. 06 2008 10:48 AM
Bob from New Haven

One good thing I can say about the 1990's Republicans. I never liked Bill Clinton's lip biting and his overall posturing during the the earl days of his presidency. It loooked like he really believed he was "Elvis Kennedy". The wipping he took from Newt and friends, I believe, forced him to look more short...presidential. He went on to win in 96. My comment on Sara Palin:
American Women:
Don't let the 5 kids, good looks and spunky delivery fool you!!! Sara Palin is a "queen bee". Her dismissive sarcasm and superbly honed "put down artist" skills were on full display at the convention. You were bullied and made to feel like sh***t by these people all through middle and high school. Please, please, please don't vote one into the VP spot!!! I wouldn't put it past her to "out maverick" McCain and re-hire David Addington as her chief of staff and turn the McCain presidency into a 4 year "stress position".

Sep. 05 2008 05:57 PM
Omar from Bed Sty

post #54

perfect example of the hypocritical Dems & the sleazy politics of personal destruction....

same old same old nasty Dem attack machine

the moveon.0rg crowd and the angry left will bring another dismal failure and cause Republicans to win again in 08

will you guys ever learn?

imagine if there were comments here micro-analyzing 50% white Obama's facial tics and his co-opting of phrases from racist Rev.Wright's hallelyuah church (whites cause AIDS and all that)

You'd all rightfully have your knickers all twisted....

but it's ok to trash Sarah Palin that way....

Better learn to say the following: President McCain

PS: will Susan Sarandon and the other left celebs actually move to Canada this time? lol
--get ready for more phony pronouncements -- &no one leaving their multi-million NYC pads...

Sep. 05 2008 03:04 PM
John from Brooklyn

Re micro-expressions:

Certainly, there is anger and disgust in the scrunched nose, the flared upper lip, the display of teeth, and just the faintest hint of a smile that organize themselves into Sarah Palin's extremely specific facial expression.

Specifically, though, the expression is a slightly swagger-y, cocksure, defiant way of expressing (1) certitude and superiority about -- and self-satisfaction with -- one's own experiences and ideas and aims; and (2) solidarity with the "us" who share these experiences, ideas, and aims, and the "them" who don't.

The expression is especially common among conservative evangelical women of Palin's generation (and younger) who practice their faith in pietistic churches and organizations, including those such as Palin has belonged to all her life, where the expression -- the discursive equivalent of italics -- is a familiar part of the gestural vocabulary that women use in public speaking and testimony.

Examples: In the phrase, "I am so glad Jesus died for my sins," the expression would fall on "so." In the phrase, "We worship an awesome God," it would fall on "awe."

I suspect that Sarah Palin learned the expression in church.

Sep. 05 2008 01:13 PM
hjs from 11211

chris o
and all that anger he holds back, takes years off also. no way he'll make the 4 years, with all the extra stress.

the media always talks about how much energy he has, but i always think he looks ill and tired.

Sep. 05 2008 01:02 PM
seth from Long Island

Gotta love the irony

Sarah is a rootin' tootin' fearless huntress who can bring down moose and other large game without breaking a sweat.

But oh, that liberal, east coast media elite are so frightful, fearsome, and scary!!
Quick Sarah!!
Run for your life, before they catch you and literally tear you limb from limb!!

Sep. 05 2008 12:55 PM
chris o from new york city

more reason for my fears to be assuaged re: President Palin. The American people are not that naive are they? Does the campaign really think they can hide her until Nov. 4th? With the incredible public interest in her, won't that be a devastating and obvious admission that she is not ready?

Sep. 05 2008 12:49 PM
chris o from new york city

plus he was shot out of the sky and almost killed and then lived a miserable 5.5 years as a POW. SO that presumably took its toll on his overall health and ultimate longevity; so now i am really scared again, except I think Americans are likewise scared of President Palin so ultimately it was a bad choice (country not even close to first, second or even third on this decision) and he will not win

Sep. 05 2008 12:46 PM
seth from Long Island

Hey Folks (that's "my friends" to you McCain supporters) are we all feeling totally reassured about Sarah Palin now?

The Sunday Shows
Sen. Barack Obama will appear on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Sen. John McCain will appear on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer.

Sen. Joe Biden will appear on Meet the Press with Tom Brokaw.

GOV. SARAH PALIN has NO Scheduled Appearances.

This morning, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis "downplayed Palin's need to do interviews with the press." Howard Fineman says Palin is returning to Alaska to read briefing books.


Sep. 05 2008 12:46 PM
hjs from 11211

chris o
but his father died at 70 so should we average the 2 and say his time is near.

Sep. 05 2008 12:36 PM
Laura from Manhattan

Nate Silver and Brian Lehrer discuss polls and horse races...I mean baseball.

You're scaring me!

I'd love to know if any of the polls make an effort to ascertain if people know the facts, the issues.

Or has it descended into just an exciting neck-and-neck popularity contest over sound bites?

Sep. 05 2008 12:32 PM
chris o from new york city

I, like Thad Cochrane, am a little concerned about McCain presidency. He is an admitted hothead, they said it at the RNC in the film bio of McCain. That's scary. But Palin is much more scary to me because of no vetting and no knowledge of who she is. And if the base is so ballistically in love with her, oh boy is that scary.

So seeing McCain's 96 year old mom was somewhat reassuring. She is in great shape, it is almost unbelievable.

Sep. 05 2008 12:20 PM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Brian interviewed several Republicans yesterday -- Gringich and Brownback among them -- who repeated the false assertion that Obama supported infanticide. Brian just let this stand when it has been well refuted. Every time one of these false statements are left unresponded it's death by little cuts. If Brian won't check these -- out of his general sense of "fairness"? -- then he must have another guest at the same time who will. I don't accuse Brian of being pro one side or another -- but his idea of "fairness" or "civility" which allows these exaggerations to remain unrefuted is a bias in itself.

Sep. 05 2008 12:18 PM
seth from Long Island

A McCain/Palin victory would be a profound tragedy for the nation and for the rest of the world.

McCain has a bomb them to smithereens first and ask questions later mentality. He's too reckless and irresponsible to be president.

Palin believes that it's God's will that the US military be in Iraq. She's a religious fundamentalist with visions of the last judgement and the rapture dancing in her head.

The US can't afford the horror of a McCain/Palin administration.

Go Obama/Biden!!!

Sep. 05 2008 12:09 PM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Suzanne is correct

Sep. 05 2008 12:09 PM
chris o from new york city

McCain opted in for public financing for the generel election which is now under way so he can't use any windfall $$ that Palin brings in, can he?

Sep. 05 2008 11:55 AM
chris o from new york city

It is interesting that McCain says they raised all this money after Palin. But he opted in to public financing. So how can he use any of this money!? Please explain.

Sep. 05 2008 11:55 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Amy Goodman is not confrontational! She will push the envelope. I heard her news conference, she was never anything but polite. Democracy Now devoted a large part of today's broadcast to the arrests in St. Paul. What worries me -- is the charges under the MN Patriot Act-type law. Will you please look into the story from Denver that the two men threatening Obama were let go by the Bush-appointed justice department official in Colorado. They definitely played that one down.

Sep. 05 2008 11:51 AM
Rudy from Kew Gardens

[5] Leonardo Andres wrote: why does the media refer to themselves as the media?

Not sure this directly addresses your question, but it might be relevant to note that the University of Illinois no longer has a College of Communications. Going with the flow of academia's terminology, it is now the College of Media. Presumably they still teach the art of communicating, but it's sad that the emphasis now appears to be on technology rather than civic interaction.

Sep. 05 2008 11:50 AM
hjs from 11211

chris o
that's right, i forgot nixon

Sep. 05 2008 11:47 AM
Chris from Manhattan

So what is the evidence Mr. Lehrer and his guest have for so-called provocateurs? The hearsay -- the testilying -- of the police? Or did you see it with your own eyes.

We know that police claims regarding RNC 2004 were false. And when police are caught on tape, more often than not, THEY the police are the provocateurs.

Sep. 05 2008 11:47 AM
chris o from new york city

don't forget Nixon and Vietnam and Cambodia - probably the majority of total casualties were after his election (AMericans: 58K; Vietnamese: about 3M); Vietnam was quite a bipartisan adventure until it was stopped by the community organizers...

Sep. 05 2008 11:44 AM
gabby from new york

I have a question: Does this have to do with the Republican Party or is it just how the St. Paul police handled the convention? From Brian's broadcast on Monday, it sounds like they are comparing this to how the republican white house tramples on civil liberty in the name of war on terror.

Sep. 05 2008 11:44 AM
AWM from UWS

The only thing that keeps the Iraq disaster from ending McCain’s chance of extending the Bush Burden is the “success of the surge”, another concept that thrives when detail, honest appraisal and common sense are ignored.

You initially support, vigorously, a colossal mistake that was poorly planned and executed. After thousands of deaths and billions of dollars you finally point out that the war has been and is being poorly executed (while ignoring the fact that it was waged on false pretenses) and declare that there should be more soldiers in Iraq to battle the insurgents you initially underestimated yourself. And you are praised for this?

In wars past there were no “surges” there were “reinforcements” but that word doesn’t translate well on cable news and the internet.

Meanwhile, if you opposed the war from the start your problem is that you didn’t think sending reinforcements into what was, is and always be an unmitigated disaster was a good idea?

The Iraqi people grew tired of the brutality of al-qaeda and stopped supporting and harboring them, this is an ignored aspect of the reduction of violence. They are also tired of the US presence and, whether it be by “timetable” or “time horizon,” want us OUT!

Sep. 05 2008 11:43 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

do a feature on Brian's micro-expressions...when he plays the devil's advoate

Sep. 05 2008 11:43 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Do not miss this first-person narrative of a regular local caught up in an arrest sweep.

BTW, the video of the use of flash and concussion grenades was pretty scary (different link I've lost, but several groups have stuff up on the web).

Sep. 05 2008 11:43 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

Fascinating photo of MN (St.Paul?) police on horseback, and even the horses have riot gear masks!

Sep. 05 2008 11:40 AM
Ted Yanow from Upper west side, Manhattan

Brian misreported Sam Brownback's reply to him on the question of teaching birth control (condom use) to adolescents. The senator stated twice that it wasn't needed because they already knew everything about it - once with the assertion that it was all around in the culture, which seems to be a transformation of a statement that sex is rife in the culture.

If he stated that it was wrong (the use of which I presume)and I don't remember it, he didn't say it more than once. He insistently returned to that assertion that it wasn't needed. This is questionable or at least examinable. Brook would have been interested in this. Brian should have been. Note he did not say anything about sex education as linked to sexual activity, negatively or positively. That would have of course produced an unwelcome bridge to Bristol's pregnancy. Brian neither pushed him nor apparently remembered his evasions.


Sep. 05 2008 11:39 AM
sean from brooklyn

great segment on micro-expressions!! will you please do the same for the debates?

Sep. 05 2008 11:38 AM
mj from queens

The latest guest discussing micro facial expressions was very interesting but I think he went too far in explaining the expressions. Sarah Palin may have anger but how does he know what she is angry about and what the cause is. How does he know that the anger is based on religion or that she holds anyone who institutionalizes special needs kids in contempt. This seems to be beyond his expertise and total speculation yet the show presents this all as his expert opinion.

Sep. 05 2008 11:38 AM
burtnor from upper west side

Not a micro-expression but a macro indication of Palin's self-assertiveness is that she put herself in front of McCain in many camera angles on stage after McCain's speech and a couple times took his elbow seeming to lead him around the stage. He had better get a food taster.

Sep. 05 2008 11:38 AM
hjs from 11211

yes i am,
that would be the dems. the dems also were the party of slaveholders.
what was ur point??

Sep. 05 2008 11:38 AM

Re: Disgust

I didn't see the clip you played, but I heard it--does Eckman think her prominent "tsk" also indicates disgust?

Sep. 05 2008 11:35 AM
John from Brooklyn

Palin ACTED a speech that others wrote for her.

The difference between Obama's delivery and Palin's is the difference between a true journalist and a news reader.

Sep. 05 2008 11:34 AM
Rudy from Kew Gardens

Sorry I didn't get to this when's Brooks Jackson was on the air...

We all remember when Cheney referred to (not .org) and it turned out to be a pro-Democrat site owned by George Soros. Now apparently the domain is owned by a domain-name broker. Why didn't Soros give the name to when he was done with it? What happened there?

Sep. 05 2008 11:33 AM
Yes I Am from Manhattan

Since you brought it up...

Which series of American Presidents escalated the Vietnamese conflict?

Which party were they members of?

Sep. 05 2008 11:32 AM
Nicole from NJ

Please address the arrest of reporters outside the convention...

And what were the majority of the protests about? Were they violent or disturbing the peace in any way? Did they not have a permit or something?

McCain said nothing new and they couldn't have said 'Maverick' more than they did. I don't really think of him as a Maverick anymore, more like Bush's devoted follower. And the surge may have worked while the extra forces were there - but we'll see how long it lasts. The War is nothing but a Waste of life, money and self respect for all Americans.

We need to concentrate on our own problems for a while.

Sep. 05 2008 11:32 AM
thatgirlinnewyork from manhattan

unfortunately, this segment suffers from the medium. it's hard to appreciate this without the visual cues enjoyed by bl and his guest

Sep. 05 2008 11:31 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Palin has disgust towards those very people she was talking about - she fired people left and right and investigated the rest.

Sep. 05 2008 11:29 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Giuliani is ridiculous period. Bitter that he was knocked out of the running for office.

Bitter old man.

Sep. 05 2008 11:29 AM
O from Forest Hills

I like this man Pual Eckman. He gave great analysis last week on Obama's body language.

Sep. 05 2008 11:28 AM
chris o from new york city

As a poster on this board mentioned, if being a tortured PoW qualifies you for President, we have trained quite an army of future Arabic and Muslim leaders. Unfortunately, most of the about 700 or so people held in Guantanamo over the last 6+ years are innocent of any crime against Americans, unlike those who bombed and invaded Vietnam, killing anywhere between 2 and 4 million people that were absolutely innocent of any transgression against the US.

Sep. 05 2008 11:27 AM
Lance from Manhattan

I’m sure it makes for great cocktail party conversations, but does being able to recognize when politicians are lying based on their facial expressions really help us in any way?
Let’s face it: even when we have incontrovertible evidence of their lies on videotape, we still give them a pass. (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman …”)

Sep. 05 2008 11:23 AM
Merry from west side

McCain's issue of energy/environment lost steam when his seven homes were reported.

Sep. 05 2008 11:23 AM
Frances from NYC

so do bureaucrats stand betw Medicare-holders and their doctors??? (since Medicare is a govt-managed health insurance system...) b/c McCain seems to not have a problem at all with greedy INSURANCE COMPANIES standing betw them & their doctors.. )

what a crock, I swear....

Sep. 05 2008 11:12 AM
hjs from 11211

how can mccain sell himself as an agent. he's been in washington for like 30 years. some of that time he was in the majority and with GOP president, and yet he's done nothing.

and his to do list, the GOP crowd was none to happy about.

Sep. 05 2008 11:08 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

@Pam - remember the good old days, when Giuliani was taking revenge on his enemies and running around the city trying to close down art exhibits he didn't like? Sigh ... good times.

Sep. 05 2008 11:07 AM
Yes I Am from Manhattan

#6 Buzzie:

That's a great article.

And he hits it on the head when he says: 'that Democrats look down their noses at regular people.'

Look at the comments on this board about people that live in the 'Heartland'.

Do you think Mr. Krugman is far off from his assumption?

Sep. 05 2008 11:05 AM
Leonardo Andres from nj

um can we stop calling this people rockstars, if people are really tuning in because they think obama and palin are "rockstarts" their right to vote should be revoked.

Sep. 05 2008 10:59 AM
Kashish from New York

FOX 9 News was given exclusive access inside the police perimeter during the Mears Park protest by Poor People's Economic Human Rights Forum, a day after Amy Goodman's arrest.

Sep. 05 2008 10:57 AM
Merry from west side

why didn't the mainstream press report on the arrests of journalists?

Sep. 05 2008 10:57 AM
Buzzie from NYC

Krugman wrote a great article about what the Republicans are offering the American Public in today's Times.

Sep. 05 2008 10:54 AM
Leonardo Andres from nj

why does the media refer to themselves as the media? if you are part of the whole how can you make it seem like you are looking from outside in?

Sep. 05 2008 10:48 AM
Pam from Wstr.

Brian--I'm glad that you've brought-up the issue of comment #3. Guiliani's words were not "ridiculous": they are irresponsible--nay, evil--and dangerous. He's shamed himself and, by extension, the New Yorkers whose feelings he purports to represent.

Sep. 05 2008 10:47 AM
Pam from Wstr.

Guiliani's speech made me more than sad: it made me feel sick. I hadn't paid him enough attention, I guess, to understand why some have said that he has fascist traits; but, his derision of "cosmopolitans" and his firing-up of the religious against those who think about them (notwithstanding the fact the Obama claims to be religious) employed exactly the words that the Nazis used. Appalling.

Sep. 05 2008 10:23 AM
robert from park slope

The close of Mccain's speech sounded more like a inaugural address in which the new president calls on citizens to act ('ask not what your country can do for you....')

Sep. 05 2008 10:10 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn


McCain and the GOP really like to “borrow” Obama's ideas.

McCain is a bully, traitor, liar, adulterer and warmongering criminal.


Not so much.

Sep. 05 2008 12:13 AM

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