Friday, January 04, 2008


Journalists covering the 2008 presidential race have spent the past year-and-a-half obsessing over every incremental development. But after Thursday's caucus in Iowa they can finally respond to actual voting. Mark Jurkowitz of the Project for Excellence in Journalism took a look at some of the coverage.

Comments [7]

Evan Garcia from Santa Monica, CA

Mark Jurkowitz says that John Edwards has "tended to frankly be ignored by much of the media."

While I would say that a candidate like Dennis Kucinich have been ignored more than Edwards, I think his comment does get to some of the coverage that Edwards has received.

From what I've seen, coverage of Edwards has generally been negative--focusing on the famous $400 haircut (as if other candidates don't have high styling bills...does anyone really think Mitt Romney looks like that naturally?), and more significantly, of accusing him of a "harsh" economic message. Edwards is frequently accused of hypocrisy for being wealthy and speaking out about poverty--his real crime, it seems, has been to discuss the existence of class and wealth inequalities in America.

Jan. 08 2008 03:03 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Actually, Murdoch is reported to have contributed heavily to Clinton, though I suspect the conglomerates hedge their bets with cash to Giuliani and Romney, as well. Obama probably got some, too, on the grounds of his fund raising prowess from other sources rather than any confidence that he would surge as he has.

There is much wisdom in your second paragraph, but the content of their coverage is as problematic as the brevity and focus on the horserace.

It has been a long time since the networks have been "traditional", though.

Jan. 07 2008 07:56 PM
Jack from Chicago

Chris, your thesis requires one shred of evidence to support your implied view that Obama is the candidate backed by corporate media. Edwards gets the attention he deserves; minimal at best. Besides the themes of classwarfare and big,bad corporations, he's got little to say.

My point was that if you are relying on traditional media for the nuances in candidate positions, you are looking in the wrong place. Not because they are big media conglomerates, but because in the four minutes they have to devote to the topic in their nightly newscasts, they prefer to focus on the state of the horserace. More importantly, the state of the race reflects the judgment of the potential voters of NH who have been personally and directly exposed to the candidates and their positions. I'm ok with that.

Jan. 07 2008 11:44 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Strum is not asking for edited versions.

It is no surprise that Edwards’ views and standing, along with some of Gomer Huckabee’s, some of McCain’s and all of Paul’s were ignored, distorted or denigrated by the no longer independent nor traditional corporate conglomerate media. They are hard at work contributing cash and lobbying for their own advantages.

As with the loser New Haven Greens, whom I once represented, do not be surprised when winners co-opt most of the major themes of their former opponents in the general election or in the policies of their administrations. That is the true value of being an also-ran, raising issues in the debate that positively influence the future.

Now, the recycling program we had to fight for in the ‘80s is second nature public works and our Mayor picks petty fights with Yale to appear to attempt to assuage the hunger for some sort of justice from our plantation masters, which we earlier voiced.

Jan. 06 2008 11:57 PM

Where is the transcript of this show?

Jan. 06 2008 02:23 AM
Jack from Chicago

If you want an edited perspective on a candidate's positions, the traditional media is your best bet.
In politics, second doesn't matter, much less third; ask Al Gore.
The public understands McCain's finish was big given he spent little time in Iowa and he has appeal to non-Evangelicals. It also seems to jive pretty well with what the polls say for NH.

Jan. 05 2008 10:05 PM
Dan Strum from NYC

First off, I think OTM is smart, witty, substantive and important. I thank you for producing a great show.

The media coverage of Iowa was appalling. Networks were so dedicated to covering the "race" that they forgot that the candidates were not talking about 'front-runners', 'statistical ties', 'new hampshire', or even whether religious symbols were incorporated into ads. They were saying things that pertain to how they would preside over our country. Pundits didn't consider that, boring as they may be, the unedited views of all the candidates -- front-runners and back-runners alike -- might serve to educate people -- not only in Iowa, but in New Hampshire and across our nation -- as to what the candidates represent and the real differences between them.

Jockeying for position is indeed a story. But that story drowned out the media's role of informing the public. And, significantly, in the end, even with all that energy devoted to the race, the media called it wrong.

Dan Strum
New York City

Jan. 04 2008 07:00 PM

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