|Re:Blogs See No Journalism in CBS (Score:1) |
by notmtwain (813717) * <notmtwainNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday November 09, @02:49AM (#10763875)
(Last Journal: Monday October 25, @08:13AM)
|One of the things I learned in campaigning for Ralph Nader was that the media has its stories, for the most part, before it even gets to the scene. |
I got involved in the Nader campaign in mid-September. From then until mid-October, there were almost no stories on Ralph or at most one a day from all the newspapers across the country. There was no TV coverage at all.
I attended speeches at Harvard and at Brown and saw no reporters, no TV, nada. Two weeks before the election, Nader announced that he knew that he wouldn't win. From that point on, newspaper coverage grew exponentially. From no stories to one a day, two a day, five and then ten a day, it was exciting. Ralph even got interviewed by David Letterman.
Almost all of the coverage focused on Ralph's potential role as a spoiler, even as his campaign press room continued to put out position papers on various issues. At one point Nader even put out a press release: "Ralph Nader hands the election to John Kerry on a Silver Platter: 10 Ways to Beat George Bush". Didn't see it mentioned once in the news.
The weekend before the election, I finally saw my first television cameras trained on Ralph. Making a brief appearance in Providence, Rhode Island at AS220, a local arts mecca, Ralph gave a nice 20 minute speech. He talked about why he was running, what was wrong with the Democratic Party, what sorts of things people should demand from their government, and why there was no real difference between Kerry and Bush.
The TV reporter from ABC then asked her question: 1) Ralph, do you care that you might wreck everything? I don't remember if the reporter from NBC said anything. I don't think so.
To be fair, CBS wasn't there. They didn't even bother to show up. They left it to NBC and ABC and the Providence Journal that night. They were probably too busy covering 'real' news.
It was as if he hadn't even given his speech. I was so frustrated.
After the reporters had finished their one minute of questions, Ralph was about to leave (he was making stops all over New England that day). He waved to his army (very small but nevertheless formidable) of supporters. I asked him, "The Red Sox did it. Why not you? Do you want to be President?" He said that he did want to be President and that "the Red Sox had had the benefit of a level playing field." It was as if "he had to pitch from 500 feet off home base."
Both the NBC and ABC stations ran stories that night on their 11:00 news. It was actually the lead story on ABC-6 and they both used clips from the speech and questions.
Both also gave time to a Kerry employee from the naderfactor.org who had been following Ralph around from town to town across the country and giving interviews to all the press. They did not know that he was an employee. They did not know that he was not local. He got his 30 seconds of air time to decry Ralph's negative impact. But this time at least, I got mine too. Lessons: