The New Politics: Avoiding the Media

The New York Times today profiles Nevada US Senate candidate Sharron Angle’s apparent strategy of avoiding contact with the mainstream media at all cost. Angle is the Tea Party candidate who went from longshot to Republican nominee despite gaining national attention for suggesting the people should pay for their health care through a barter system (she fondly recalled the days of paying for a visit to the doctor by handing over a chicken) will run against Harry Reid in November.

Probably as a result of the “chicken” controversy, Angle has steadfastly avoided any interviews with any media outlet but the most supportive conservative talk radio hosts. Her campaign attributes this to the need to first organize and fully staff her election organization, but that explanation defies logic. Anyone who has ever run for office knows that “free media” should be aggressively sought. I do think there are at least two reasons why Angle and others (Rand Paul, Sarah Palin) have adopted this strategy. First, because of the internet, especially social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the candidate has considerable tools available to reach voters without resorting to the mainstream media. Second, many of these candidates hold views that are far outside the mainstream of American politics, and to be elected, they must fuzzy up their extremism by erecting a facade of moderation. It’s hard to do that when someone you can’t control is asking you the questions.

4 Responses to The New Politics: Avoiding the Media

  1. Brian Flaherty says:

    All true, Dick, but also the media does not play fair. Consider the NY Times headline for Robert Byrd’s (a former member of the KKK, voted against the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act) obit:

    Robert C. Byrd, a Pillar of the Senate, Dies at 92

    But when Strom Thurmond died, they wrote:

    “Strom Thurmond, Foe of Integration, Dies at 100.”

  2. Right in Lowell says:

    Any ‘conservative’ does not get a fair play from just about any mainstream media. The reports are so slanted to the liberal left that it’s comical to watch.

  3. Jamison Tomasek says:

    Any comment about Democratic darling Mayor Willy Lantigua of Lawrence? During the election Fall 2009, not only did he refuse to debate and refuse to speak to the newspaper, he also refused to answer any questions, including giving basic information. On documents that asked “level of education” he put ‘Dominican Republic”. He has continued this practice in office. He refuses to give his home address at the start of council meetings (which all the councilors do), adding to the speculation that he actually resides in Methuen.

  4. DickH says:

    Is talk radio considered to be mainstream media? Because if it is, that kind of blows up these allegations of a liberal slant to the media. When in the car I sometimes tune in to some of the media moguls of the right and find they inhabit an alternate universe.