The Choice 2008

What did you think of this FRONTLINE report? What are your thoughts on these two unlikely candidates?

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This was a nicely produced special that almost hit the mark. One could tell an effort was made to be fair, however the balance between candidate imperfections was not. It appeared Obama's "bad" was the Reverend Wright and McCain's "bad" was The Keating Five scandal. The balance would have been better had the comparison been between Keating Five and Obama's connection with William Ayers. One can right off Rev Wright as a blowhard. It's much harder to write off a terrorist.

Scott Coppenbarger
Oklahoma City, OK


PBS is the reason America is great. kudos on yet another excellent 'Choice'. Thank God for PBS.

Farhaj Hassan
Helmetta, NJ


Although deeply commited to voting for Barack Obama, the most inspiring candidate I've seen in my 31 years, I must say I find John McCain to be an horable man and an American hero. He will always have my deepest respect for standing up against torture tactics. My husband has said, and I agree, that it is too bad he did not beat George W. Bush in South Carolina in 2000. Your piece showed how a good man was smeared by Karl Rove and his disgusting ilk. Had McCain become our president then, I am sure our country would be much better off than it is today, just as it would have if Mr. Gore had rightly been given the election. I think McCain's biggest mistake is to insist we cannot leave Iraq without victory with honor. My generation is sick of people like McCain, from our parents' generation, trying to rehash the Vietnam war. We need to move on, and Obama represents a new generation, committed to renewal of America at home.

Jasmine Marshall Armstrong
Fresno, CA


Hello Frontline. I just watched the Frontline Report "The Choice",online and I was blown away by its honest account and reporting of both candidates, their background information and ideologies. This is so helpful to many who don't really know these candidates. It was superb and Kudos to you! My husband and I also watch your news each evening and it is so much better than the other networks and, without sensationalism and bias. Keep up the good work!

Leslie Dawson
St. Thomas, USVI


I watched the biographies that you aired and I think that it was the most honest and unbaised information that has been that has been put out. It would be a public service to the nation for you to air this program daily, until the election. I learned so much about both men, without the usual spin from the parties and the candidates. You all should get an award for true reporting and the highest degree of ethical journalism that has come out of this very devisive campaign.

I watch all of the stations reporting and find them mostly to be pushing one agenda or the other. You were fair to both candidates in showing the facts without the heat. I can't tell you how impressed I was. I only wish everyone who votes would be able to make an informed decision after seeing this show.

Patricia Perry
Chico, CA


Thank you for another fine episode. Your concise and objective films have been part of my pre-election ritual for as long as I have been eligible to vote. I must confess, however, that I found this film lacking when compared to those from the Bush v. Kerry and Bush v. Gore elections. There was far too much emphasis on recent primary elections and campaign strategy than on the candidates and their backgrounds. This program should have focused on the personal and professional accomplishments of McCain and Obama over their lifetimes rather than spend two thirds of the film rehashing the political jostling that has taken place over the past 18 months. The film offered a historical perspective that could just as easily be gleaned from CNN or Fox News -- not the in-depth portrait I have come to expect from Frontline.

Ryan Campbell
Sacramento, CA


Thank you for making such and interesting and insightful piece about the 2 candidates. I would also like to mention how important it was for me to be able to see both sides without the biased opinions. I was interestingly surprised to see how much Senator McCain did not like George Bush. Maybe if he would go back to his roots and forget about the negativity his campain has brought upon him and others. I do respect him for speaking up for what he believes though. I still think Senator Obama will do a better a job and represent the United States in a more positive way to all Americans and the world. Living in Belgrade it has been hard to get any news other than CNN and BBC. I will definitely be bookmarking this sight on my favorites and look forward to watching other pieces in the future.

Nadia Kralovec


Too bad you left out the part about McCain's Navy career, e.g, crashing 3 planes BEFORE he was shot down in Vietnam. Any other pilot would've lost his wings, but not the spoiled Navy brat McCain. Instead of exposing McCain for what he is - a child of privilege and Washington insider from birth - you chose to propagate the myth of McCain as war hero.

philip Scalia
Fort Plain, NY


So many questions: What is Obama's true relationship with Bill Ayers and the Woods foundation? What backroom dealings has Obama done with the Main Stream Media to get them to give him only good press and and give McCain bad press? If Obama has shunned black folks, why is the press saying that 95% of voting blacks will vote for him?Do you have examples of him helping poor sick and uneducated children, as he said he would in his speeches?

Really this was just another dusting of the powder puff on the nose of Obama.

Los Angeles, CA


Thank you for a very informative in dept look at two men one who will lead our country in the 21st century. I agree with the first statement in the Frontline program about " the choice for future president will come down to who makes sense of the world and who makes actual progress" That is only thing I will be thinking about when I go into the voting booth.

angela firnk
Brooklyn, NY


Thanks for the most balanced protrayal of two interesting and intriguing individuals. Please, please continue to strive for balance with each and every program. Just the facts. This is a far cry from the unpalpable slant that we constantly are bombarded with from other networks, both to the right and to the left.

Keep up the good work!

Mark Bradley
Roswell, Georgia


While I enjoyed watching your documentary, The Choice 2008, I am deeply disturbed by your glaring omission of independent and third party candidates from the documentary. I am ashamed that FRONTLINE and PBS, organizations that normally respect the public, violated the public's trust by framing the presidential election as a choice exclusively between the Democratic and Republican candidates. In the future, please respect the politics of all Americans by prominently including independent and third party candidates in your documentaries, and framing them as as legitimate presidential choices. Of all of the major media organizations, it is your responsibility to publish a diverse array of political perspectives. Please do not assume that the Republican and Democrat parties are our only viable political choices.

Will Riley
Snellville, Georgia


To Joe Friday...I guess no matter what you read or watch, you will see Obama as you want to see him. I had so much respect for McCain until this past year. The way both of these men have managed their campaign, their choices for V.P., and the people they have hired to work on the campaign tells me who has stayed true to the dipictions in the FRONTLINE series.

karen teegarden
Birmingham, Michigan


I can appreciate that this was probably the most balanced and unbiased program on the candidates that we have seen lately. However I feel as though I have just browsed a high gloss coffee table photo book. You combined pretty shots with information that does not go below the surface of things. Non of the drama and urgency of our time have been conveyed. All that you offer is pretty portraits of two candidates and a glossed over analysis of their campaign strategies, no more than a Readers Digest. I think beyond a non-bias journalistic responsibility is also to show what is at stake. This piece is not a truthful portrayal, but historical romanticism, on a subject that is not even history, but current affair. I am disappointed and cannot agree that this piece is up to par.

San Francisco, California


My major disappointment with the report, while informative about these two candidates, lacked any reference or discussion about other presidential candidates. Anything titled THE CHOICE 2008 ought to cover all of the choices. The fact is that McCain and Obama have more in common than not. Our two-party system is broken and no matter how much McCain has "reached across the aisle" or Obama says he can "change" things, they are both part of a system that IS the problem. Obama is a "golden boy" in his party and McCain is a "black sheep" but they still play the game the way it's always been played.

We need to hear about our alternatives. Tell us about the Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, educate us about the Green Party's Cynthia McKinney. What are Independent Ralph Nader's views and how do they differ from the establishment? Most people would have no idea that there are at least 12 candidates for president from different parties. Why aren't these candidates involved in the debates? Why aren't they part of the conversation? Whether these "third party" candidates could win a national election is irrelevant, what they do is open the discussion, offer new and fresh ideas, and give us an ALTERNATIVE.

R Harlow Jr
Manchester, CT


posted october 14, 2008

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