Oct
01
2003

The Dean Surge

Fear and Loathing in Campaign Punditry

Jacqueline 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 gathered a great deal of […]