‘A Dumbed-Down Media Dumbs Down Democracy’

Publishing (Nation, 10/30/08) an open letter from independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader to campaign media, John Nichols laments how “for the most part, Nader’s campaign–with its… worthy messages about the role of government, regulation of corporations, foreign policy and, above all, democracy–has been ignored by the print, broadcast, cable and even digital media”:

To a greater extent than at any time in history, media coverage of the 2008 election season has focused on the presidential race–and the it has been a narrow focus at that, rarely looking past the two major-party candidates and their running-mates.

So it is that, at the close of what has arguably been the most exciting presidential contest in modern American history, broadcast commentators struggle each night to find something, anything new to say about a campaign that they continue to cover more as American Idol than a competition for (immense) power.

Nichols reminds us that the Nader letter “is worthy of consideration, not merely by those Americans who might choose to support his candidacy but by everyone who recognizes that a dumbed-down media dumbs down democracy.”

See FAIR’s recent Media Advisory: More Than a Two-Person Race: Corporate Media Largely Ignore Other Presidential Candidates (10/21/08)