Spin alley


Spin alley

Spin alley is a term that refers to a designated meeting area reserved for use by the news media after political events to perform interviews of public policy experts. It is usually used after a major televised event, such as a campaign debate, and provides political experts and public officials a space to make statements to the press that are pejoratively referred to by some observers as spin, or highly-biased propaganda of the event. Supporters of this arrangement claim it is a good opportunity for both parties to elaborate on the views expressed, while opponents argue that it offers only a narrow range of points of view and marginalizes debate as part of a larger deficiency in the media's confrontation of politicians.

Criticism

Salon.com's political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow described "Spin Alley" as follows in 1996 [ [http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/2003/11/22/spin_alley.html PressThink: Raze Spin Alley, That Strange Creation of the Press ] ] :::"After the debate, I took the press shuttle back to the media center — and to the small section therein blatantly designated “Spin Alley,” ringed on three sides by bare-bones makeshift broadcast platforms and stuffed to capacity with reporters, camera crews and politicos. Everywhere you looked there were clusters of media people surrounding spinners and surrogates, whose names were printed on laminated red signs held high above the crowd by aides. I felt like I was standing in the middle of one of my own damn cartoons come to life."

A notable spin alley was immediately following each debate of the 2004 U.S. Presidential elections, as Jon Stewart commented when he made a memorable appearance on CNN's Crossfire [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFQFB5YpDZE Crossfire Jon Stewart Interview] ] on October 15, 2004. Among his other highly critical comments during the program, Stewart criticized the CNN hosts for reporting from Spin Alley, saying "Now, don’t you think that, for people watching at home, that’s kind of a drag, that you’re literally walking to a place called deception lane?"

Following the 3rd U.S. presidential debate of 2004, in a segment later aired on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien, spin alley was crashed by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U5UexDY4kw Triumph Visits Spin Alley] ] . Triumph insulted and mocked representatives from both political parties, including Crossfire's Paul Begala, who was supporting John Kerry.

References


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