Sunday, January 11, 2009

Third-Party Blind Spot - John F. Kirch

Democracy suffers when the news media ignore long-shot candidates and the ideas they espouse While the news media did an effective job this year of covering the presidential campaign between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, the press still has a major blind spot when it comes to writing about third-party contenders. According to a basic LexisNexis database search of election coverage from Aug. 5 to Nov. 5, The Washington Post and The New York Times published a combined 3,576 news stories, editorials, op-eds, photographs and letters to the editor about Mr. Obama and 3,205 items about Mr. McCain. By contrast, the two dailies published only 36 items about independent Ralph Nader, 22 about Libertarian Bob Barr, five about Green Cynthia McKinney and three about the Constitution Party's Chuck Baldwin. ...

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