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Saturday, May 03, 2008

On Sunday TV, One Hot Race Fuels Another

By JIM RUTENBERG, NYT

WASHINGTON — It will be a generational battle royal, the younger upstart against the more seasoned warrior who resents the challenge.

...The Russert-Stephanopoulos duel presents an intriguing rivalry, with parallel paths to the top of Sunday television. Both went from politics, where they were aides to Democratic luminaries, to the pinnacle of broadcast news, as hosts of venerated public affairs programs.

They also share something else, long and complicated relations with the Clintons that have informed fierce criticism this year — often from the echo chamber of liberal press criticism on the Internet and sometimes stoked by the campaigns — that the hosts have been shallow or unfair in some of their questioning. Mr. Stephanopoulos, who worked in the Bill Clinton White House as a top aide to Mr. Clinton, was attacked for being too hard on Mr. Obama last month in a debate...

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