Thursday, August 14, 2003

CARNIVAL, NOT CIRCUS: Marc Cooper, as found on good ol' AlterNet:

Myth No. 1: The recall election is a circus.

It's a circus only to the degree that cynical, shallow media make it so. Especially the electronic media in which the ringmasters are the TV news directors – a species that wouldn't recognize a "serious" election if it fell on their empty heads. We're now going to get civics lectures from a bunch of ratings whores who long ago traded in their Sacramento bureaus for freeway telecopters?

Every election cycle attracts marginal and aberrant candidates, and the media usually ignore them after the one or two initial and totally predictable soft features. Angelyne, Gary Coleman, Larry Flynt et al. loom so large in this election only because the telephoto lenses remain so tightly locked onto them.

The L.A. Times (and other major metros) has also helped promote the circus theme, giving undue attention to the carnival candidates. A strange twist, as this is the same Times that barred Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader from the presidential debate it organized during the 2000 campaign. Times management argued at the time that Nader wasn't a serious enough candidate to warrant inclusion. Nader's mistake, apparently, was to not have Gary Coleman chauffer him down to Spring Street in Agelyne's pink Vette.

All part of his "Five Myths About the Recall." Includes funny Green Party-bashing.

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