Thursday, January 22, 2004

News media blacking out candidates
Since Iowa, I have been watching the news media’s coverage of the New Hampshire primary and all of the stations and networks are blacking out the lower tier candidates.
Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, and to a lesser extent Joe Leiberman, have been blacked out by the media.
Local news has mainly shifted their coverage to the presumed top four candidates: John Kerry, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, and John Edwards. On Channel 7 the other night, Andy Hiller spent about six or seven minutes talking about the four candidates – ignoring Lieberman – whose poll position is the same as Edwards. Sure, Edwards has momentum from his second place finish in Iowa. But that doesn’t mean Lieberman [or the others] should be blacked out. The media's job is to report the news, not to decide who is viable and then report. The other local stations have done the same thing.
On FoxNews tonight, the camera went to "the spin room" after the debate.
Lieberman had an extended interview on "Hannity & Colmes," a whole segment and then a half a segment after a break. Kerry and Clark spokespeople chatted for a few minutes and then Dean’s campaign person spoke.
Edwards, Kucinich, and Sharpton were not allowed to comment on FoxNews.
"Hannity & Colmes" also spent 15 minutes getting Bill Bennett’s view of the debate, in which Bennett praised Lieberman, the most rightwing candidate in the race. Bill Bennett, you ask? You mean the former Republican Education Secretary? The virtue man with the gambling problem? Yeah, that one, commenting on the Democratic primary. Bennett did defend Dean a bit, saying Dean had been hammered too much by the media. But he has no business commenting on a Democratic primary race unquestioned by any opposition.
Paging Alan Colmes – get some stones already, boy. Tell your producers to stop booking these rightwing analysts like Bennett and Newt Gingrich without any balance!
Then, Susan Estrich and one of Steve Forbes' former campaign aides talked about the debates. Estrich attacked Dean - which she has been doing since the Iowa debacle. However, this is "fair and balanced" coverage? That’s a lot of crap.
"On the Record," with Greta van-Facelift, was no better, with rightwing Tony Snow, rightwing Michael Barone of US News, and rightwing, invasion of Iraq author [via PNAC], former aide to Dan Quayle, and editor of The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, commenting on the debate.
Again, this is "fair and balanced" coverage? Please.

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