Monday, April 16, 2007
I can't tell you how frustrated this early Democratic presidential primary season has been for me. I support a candidate, Dennis Kucinich, who I believe to have the strongest credentials and the best ideas, but he hardly gets a mention in the mainstream media. Already, the media is deciding for itself who are the frontrunners. They've already anointed Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama and have given John Edwards an outside chance. I can tell you as a former newspaper journalist, every organization I've worked for, we've tried to be as fair and objective as possible in every local election we've had. No candidate in a mayoral election would get more stories than the others. Each candidate would be given equal amount of room to display his or her ideas. Of course, we would also do background checks on each candidate to check for bones in their closets. The idea, however sterile it might sound, was to present each candidate and their proposals and let the voters choose who was the best of the bunch. In this presidential race, we are being told who's the best by the mere lopsided coverage. Clinton and Obama might be decent candidates, but let's hear what they and the other candidates are really about. So far, the news coverage we have gotten has just been a childish popularity contest, not a battle of ideas. I can tell you I would put Kucinich's proposals on health care against any other candidate's. Bill Richardson, however, has got some pretty nifty ideas how to direct the United States' foreign policy. My point is, let the media coverage be about what the candidates are saying they want to do, not about what the latest poll is saying or the latest fundraiser. The problem with polls is the results influence who people are going to support. No one wants to support a loser, but the first polls are only the results of who the media is playing up in the news. Whoever has had the most favorable news coverage is usually the one with the best poll. Let's put these polls to the side and talk about what's most important. We've learned the hard way, that excellent presidents are only as strong as their ideas and vision. Please let the public hear the candidates out.