Extra! Update October 2003

    The Dean Surge

    Fear and Loathing in Campaign Punditry

    Fear and Loathing in Campaign PunditryJacqueline Bacon’s cover story in the last issue of Extra! (9-10/03) documented how prominent news outlets feel a compulsion, from the beginning of a presidential race, to select a handful of candidates as potential winners and dismiss the others as also-rans. One sign of the absurdity of this process is that between the early campaign coverage that Bacon analyzed and our time the magazine arrived in people’s mailboxes, one of those supposed also-rans–Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont–had become “the unofficial front-runner,” according to no less an authority than the New York Times (8/5/03). Dean’s surge …