August 28, 2004

Why is U.S. coverage of the presidential election so lousy?

VP Dick Cheney made a campaign swing through Pennsylvania earlier this week, and Campaign Desk's Zachary Roth went along for the ride. The thing is, he wasn't covering Cheney — he was covering the members of the press corps as they reported on the VP's activities. Roth's post at Campaign Desk does a lot to explain how the press keeps missing the real stories of the current election season.

Our favoritie part of the story was this:

Though only a few reporters got within spitting distance of Cheney, almost everyone got off the bus. Most of the photographers aimed their cameras toward a field where Liz Cheney and her three young daughters were holding out alfalfa hay for the cows to eat. "The most enthusiastic crowd all day," quipped the Los Angeles Times' Simon of the cows. But when Cheney came over to help out, the cows took one look at him and ran away, much to the amusement of the press corps.

More: Campaign Desk also has an interview today with Sandra Endo, a reporter for NY1, New York City's 24-hour cable news channel. While the interview is mostly about press coverage of the upcoming Republican National Convention, Endo dropped in this comment when asked to compare the 2000 and 2004 elections:

The bottom line is, presidential campaigns have become so restricted and staged that candidates rarely take questions from the press. Clarifications and positions are explained by campaign managers and spokespeople. That is not unique to this year, but I sense it could be getting worse.

That quote explains even more about the bad coverage, doesn't it?

Posted by Magpie at August 28, 2004 11:30 AM | Elections | Technorati links |

Well, first part of the terrible campaign coverage has to be the fact most of the media at this point and time are members fo the Corporate media. Though there are still some bastallions of non-corporately-backed media ventures, the Corporate media gets the first shot at these, I mean candidates and throw out softball stuff and don't exactly hold people accountable. If they do? It's denied and the reporter ro the institution in question is black-balled by the WHite House fo the Kerry campaign.

One of the other reasons why the media is so apathetic -- and yes, I use apathetic - towards this election is, much like 2000, both candidates fail to inspire. Oh sure, the Kerry campaign backers are inspired all right - but they would have been inspired no matter what to get George W> Bush out of office. And Bush backers? Their inspiration is blindly following the leader.

I don't know whether to blame the 2 party ssytem or the fact that there is little chance for an outsider to get the Party nomination. Bush made himself LOOK like an outsider in 2000 but he was surrounded by Daddy's buddies from 1988-92. Kerry's been backed by DNC insiders since 2002. It wasn't until Howard Dean came along that there was any passion in the party.

And that passion has dissipated back into "ANyone but Bush" because Kerry fails to inspire - much like Bush fails to inspire...

Posted by: John F. at August 28, 2004 12:08 PM

The two party system is the problem. With preferential voting, if voters aren't inspired by a party's nomination, they are free to rank someone else higher.

Posted by: felice at August 30, 2004 05:42 PM