Oct
01
2000

Nader and the Press: Condescension Turns Nasty

Ralph Nader's presidential campaign has mostly been of interest to mainstream journalists not for the ideas or new voters that it brings to the election, but for the impact it might have on Democrat Al Gore's electoral chances. The headline "Nader's Bid Complicates Gore's Task" (Washington Post, 5/25/00) sums up this approach. Even this role for Nader--often referred to as a "spoiler," or as "stealing" votes--was sometimes downplayed by media figures. After George Stephanopoulos suggested on ABC's This Week (6/25/00) that Nader might be polling near the 5 percent mark in several key states, fellow panelist Cokie Roberts responded with, […]

Oct
01
2000

Novak on 'Color-Blindness'

Commentator Robert Novak wasn’t happy with the ethnicity of the speakers at the Republican convention. He complained to Bush adviser Ralph Reed (Crossfire, 7/31/00): You know, Mr. Reed, I used to think that one of the values of the Republican Party is they were color-blind while the Democrats had a quota system. I was looking at the schedule for tonight’s proceedings. . . . We have tonight four African-Americans, two Jews, five Hispanics and an Asian. . . . Boy, I thought I was in San Francisco with the Democrats, what Jeane Kirkpatrick used to call the San Francisco Democrats. […]

Oct
01
2000

Gore and the Pundits: A Tentative Embrace

While Al Gore received generally hostile coverage through the primaries--marked by frequently inaccurate coverage of his supposed inaccuracies (Washington Monthly, 4/00)--media treatment of him softened dramatically starting in August, about the time that he picked Sen. Joe Lieberman (D.-Conn.) to be his running mate. The centrist corporate media loved the centrist, pro-corporate senator. "The best thing Al Gore did at this convention, he did the week before when he chose Joe Lieberman, because I think Joe Lieberman was the best thing about that convention," ABC's Michel Martin said (This Week, 8/20/00). "No question about it," seconded This Week's resident liberal […]