Lousy Media Coverage? Blame Candidates Too

Craig will be talking about this topic on CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz (Sunday, 11 AM ET)

Let the news media handwringing begin. It’s another predictable scene in our presidential campaign soap opera. Why didn’t we cover more issues? How could we chase so many silly stories? Too much horse race reporting. Obsession with polls. And so on.

All legitimate concerns that we ask at the end of every campaign, but nothing much changes.

While the news media takes its ritual beating don’t let the candidates off the hook. This time around I’d even say the campaigns bear most of the blame.

Neither side wanted to talk specifics about much of anything. Distraction was the name of this game. Obama had a lousy first debate and his aides drove Big Bird to the stage. Romney has no plan of his own for the Middle East and stirs up the phony debate about security personnel at the Benghazi consulate.

Nearly every news cycle for months you can find tweets, YouTube ads and one-liners directly from the campaigns designed to ridicule and distract. Spokespeople are put forward daily to spin every nuance of the polls, but ask for the actual numbers behind Mitt Romney’s tax-and-spending rhetoric or President Obama’s next jobs plan and you get canned non-answers.

And maybe a billion dollars spent on TV ads mostly aimed at personally destroying the opponent.

Forget trying to press the candidates themselves on the issues. They spent way more time repeating vapid stump speeches to supporters and talking about nothing on fluffy talk shows than taking serious questions from serious journalists.

For sure, blame the media for taking the bait without fail. But don’t forget it was the only “substance” these campaigns put out there.

64 thoughts on “Lousy Media Coverage? Blame Candidates Too”

  1. Who Hoo, and Craig you got it right.

    The less they say and the more disingenuous it is the better off they are. We the people get squat

  2. Woo hoo?

    Good points Craig. And why I’m giving all media a pass (as in ignoring them) this cycle.

    South Carolina up 27-14 on my Vols. No joy in Knobite Corner–especially since I had to turn on the gas heat this AM for the first time since March–

  3. People will eat solid food when they have the chance, in the absence of such they are forced to eat pablum, such is the state of presidential politics in the 21st century. :sad:

  4. Lousy Media Coverage?

    coverage… what coverage? there has to be something there to consider it even unlousy.

    media… what media? it doesn’t even qualify as entertainment*

    lousy, yes.

    *example was cnn noontime segment with giggly news?lady and her 2 giggly lawyer guests all halloween costumed saying nothing for 5 minutes…just giggling at themselves and each other. ted turner, what have they done to your baby?

    Romney’s Father George Romney, Gov of Michigan released TWELVE YEARS of his tax returns, as have President Obama and VP Biden! Romney releases ONE YEAR! What a joke…I don’t think he broke the law, but his returns would show that he paid ZERO US taxes some years while paying more taxes in Switzerland and the Caymans on his overseas bank accounts.

  6. News is a business. The major media corporations’ political “news” coverage is worthless. The best reporting is on the web. I find dailykos blog to be the best source of political news & and analysis. I recommend it to all trailmix readers.

    dailkos is still small enough not to be corrupted, as huffington post seems to be these days.

    “Huffpo” used to be good, but now they’ve gone “corporate,” slick and and shallow.

  7. MSM “reporters” won’t call Romney a “liar,” even though they KNOW that everything he says if a lie.

    MSM reporters are enablers.

  8. jace, i agree with you on that earlier misspelling. the typo did seem to be more accurately descriptive.
    morman = more for a man than a woman

  9. Romney speaking again – I swear the man is a walking cliche and spouted quotes. Has he ever had an original or nuanced idea of any kind?

  10. Well I called ABC News twice and left my name and number on two voice mails and once with someone I spoke with about the voter registration fraud issue. I have yet to hear back from them about this.

    It seems that the main street media is not interested in fair elections.

    Nor has President Obama’s Campaign gotten back in touch with me to let me know if that person who was registered at my address was a attempt to dis-enfranchise that person so they would not be enabled to vote or just a fraudulent registration.

    There are still many touch screen machines that do not have a paper trail and I am really concerned that this election will be stolen.

    Hope everyone has had a great day. Check back later.

  11. A word about Sandy –
    The European model has nailed the forecast from the beginning . It is now predicting a pressure reading at landfall of 949 millibars. The all time lows in this area, are around 961.

    “Sandy to feed off near-record warm waters off the mid-Atlantic coast

    During September 2012, ocean temperatures off the mid-Atlantic coast in the 5×10° latitude-longitude box between 35 – 40°N, 65 – 75° W were 2.3°F (1.3°C) above average, according to the UK Met Office. This is the 2nd greatest departure from average for ocean temperatures in this region since reliable ocean temperature measurements began over a century ago (all-time record: 2.0°C above average in September 1947.) These unusually warm waters have persisted into October, and will enable Sandy to pull more energy from the ocean than a typical October hurricane. The warm waters will also help increase Sandy’s rains, since more water vapor will evaporate into the air from a warm ocean. I expect Sandy will dump the heaviest October rains on record over a large swath of the mid-Atlantic and New England”


  12. The onus is on the individual to become informed to their own standards. If one doesn’t appreciate the state of journalism, then one should go be a journalist and raise the bar.

  13. ♥♥♫♪Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥¸
    ¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*
    •.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday Dear Sturge!!!!! ♪♫•*
    ¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you! ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

  14. October 27, 2012

    Ohio Is Not a Toss Up
    Nate Silver looks at the polling average in Ohio — made up of roughly a dozen polling firms who have surveyed the state over the past 10 days — and notes it shows President Obama with a 2.4 percentage point lead over Mitt Romney.

    “There are no precedents in the database for a candidate losing with a two- or three-point lead in a state when the polling volume was that rich… It is misinformed to refer to Ohio as a toss-up. Mr. Obama is the favorite there, and because of Ohio’s central position in the Electoral College, he is therefore the overall favorite in the election.”

    Media enablers is correct. Ohio is a toss up only because the MSM need and want for it to be one. They of course lie only slightly less than Mitt. :sad:

  15. Patd,

    No, I think that morman is Mitt’s way of saying that he is morman than the guy he is running against. All evidence to the contrary. 😉

  16. I was surfing around looking for information on a place in India and came across one where women are in charge and the men are protesting :)

    Meghalaya, India

    During Monsoon season, this is the wettest place on earth. It might be interesting to see how modern life and climate change might effect them.

  17. Old Sea –
    Thanks for the whaling scrimshaw , as a birthday card .

    I hope our friend is out playing Mustang Sally on his birthday.

  18. I take this back –

    I hope our friend is out playing Mustang Sally on his birthday.

    I hope our friend is out playing Mustang Sally at a hurricane party on his birthday.

  19. Mustang Sally –
    I’m gonna need someone to post the Wilson Picket version of this . Then I’d like to sign my name at the bottom.

  20. httpv://youtu.be/Y-Lzvse7QGk

    Some things in life are priceless for everything else there is you tube. Found this over at The Political Carnival. 😉

  21. tony says:
    10/27/2012 at 12:53 PM
    bet Patsi would have voted for her…..think that i will do just that …….later

    Hi Solar.
    Yes, Stein is terrific…Wish the polls here in Florida would go up in Obama’s favor, not likely though.

  22. Go Giants
    I bought a bunch of “must use immediately raspberries” at the market.

    We are watching the Giants beat the Tigers (so far)
    and my drink of choice is — a couple of handfuls of raspberries, some ice, some sugar some vodka blenderize

    As far as the media — trying to blame the campaigns –not happening.

    What Jace said

    And it’s hardly the campaigns fault when the media hops on some bullsh-t idea that benefits them to cover it it the mythology that has grown up around the Obama debate performance kind of like the Dean Scream, Al Gore inventing the internet etc…all media inventions to the detriment of the victims

  23. Craig –
    When you talk to “Howie”.
    Bring up climate change, a helpful quote :
    “You may not care about climate change, but the climate change cares about you.”

    She’s coming onshore in New Jersey, as the bride of Gene Hackman. Clearly, climate change is about to make an example of Sooki.

  24. Sandy danced off to the East as she passed by you Sturg. And you live in the that wonderful bend in the coastline , that makes a lot of difference.

    What is freaking out all the people who watch this stuff for a living is this :
    We have a hurricane with a “Northeaster” wrapping itself around it. When it gets to Delaware, it’s gonna make a nearly 90 degree turn to the West . In the Northern Hemisphere when things move West in the atmosphere……… It’s always a bad thing, and very rare.

    And Sandy is re-writing the record books, and all the ink is still to come.

    The wind field that can break tree limbs over you car , will be 1,000 miles wide. And it will take days to move North into Canada.

    The model says 949 millibars at the coast . Philly will set a new all time record for low pressure. By 10 millibars maybe. A huge drop on this scale. 1014 millibars is normal sea level , 993, you got yourself a tropical cyclone. As low pressure goes, to see these numbers is very scary .
    Sandy is gonna bleach a lot hair when we total up all the numbers.

  25. Joshua Lyman ‏@joshualyman

    “My horse race process story nonsense is threatened by your statistical data analysis!” – Beltway media tonight.

  26. It’s nice that our greatest dope slap to date comes from ‘Sandy’, like a Beach Boys song.

    Wendy , Sandy, ,,,,,, Brian Wilson beat his brains in over this choice.

  27. (Reuters) – A magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit Canada’s Pacific coast province of British Columbia on Saturday night, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

    The quake was centered 123 miles south-southwest of Prince Rupert at a depth of 6.2 miles, the USGS said.

  28. we’re getting hit by mother nature’s majesty from sea to shining sea. tsunami warning in the west for hawaii, alaska and pacific northwest in addition to sandy roaring in from the east.

  29. jamie, in light of the quake and tsunami and un like the candidates, take the high ground. hope you and yours are safely inland.

  30. with potential catastrophes on both shores, perhaps it would be better for the prez and the press to suspend campaigning and concentrate on the citizenry. at least it would show more compassion than shrub did with katrina.

  31. I didn’t feel a thing on that earthquake here in Tacoma. It does look as if we will continue to be dripped upon for the whole of the next week. Dismal not dangerous.

  32. Hawaii dropped a tsunami warning and evacuations Sunday after a major earthquake off Canada’s west coast Saturday night.

    After the warning was posted by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, Gov. Neil Abercrombie declared an emergency and officials began evacuating coastal and low-lying areas, KITV News in Honolulu reported.

    The first small tsunami waves were seen off Hawaii about six hours after the earthquake, CNN said.

  33. jamie, glad to hear that your cage wasn’t rattled too much. wonder if the pipelines were impacted. there goes the price of gas again if they were. and maybe the future of keystone.

  34. ominous skies but dry for now, looks like i can get to Kurtz show and back, then hunker down. could this be nature’s revenge for debate moderators never asking about climate change?

  35. httpv://youtu.be/rp1taqDXhl8

    Sunday Serendipity.

    My son shared this on with me. Couldn’t wait to pass it along on the ‘trail’. Stunning. Enjoy! 😉

  36. Looking forward to seeing you Craig.

    Mother Nature letting republicons know — she is in charge!

  37. httpv://youtu.be/tib4DkNfISQ

    Today is Reformation Sunday, a day to mark the the historic stirring of the ecclesiastical pot by one Martian Luther. Our choir will be performing this arrangement of Luther’s hymn.

    Oh, Oh, that we would sing it only half as well.
    Off to give it the old college try. 😉

  38. Rmoney on the fairness of his economic plan.

    “Under my plan, you will never have to worry again about keeping up with the Jonses’, because they won’t have anything either.” 😉

  39. when howie, craig et al were discussing newspaper endorsements on reliable sources, surprisingly no one mentioned the endorsement for obama in salt lake city.

    poohbah, other than that you did good with the little time howie allowed you.
    and nice tie.

  40. Craig… I really enjoyed watching you and the other panelists on Kurtz’s show. Good for you for not letting the candidates themselves and/or the media off the hook.

    Although I was surprised to hear Kurtz say that the foreign policy debate had been substantive… IMO, it was just more empty rhetoric.

    Jace… thanks for the Sunday Serendipity… I agree, it was stunning.

    KGC… looks like your Giants are gonna do it again.

  41. Go Giants!

    Good Job Craig — it was almost the beginning of the conversation we all need to have about what is the current role of the media

    All those journo school rule books have been tossed

    Why do reporters let campaigns set the tone for coverage.

    Don’t get me wrong — on balance I think Democrats and Democratic candidates get the short end of the stick

    Howie calling parts of the reporting the clown campaign when he is the biggest bozo was a nice trip to the irony board.

    Rmoney set the tone and clowns like Howie just h opped into the clown car. Rmoney said he wasn’t releasing his tax returns because it would give his opponents too much ammunition — yet I have yet to hear Howie castigate the media for dropping the issue

  42. Conspiracy theory of the day Guerneville style

    How did Chris Christie know it was going to be a bad night for Obama —

    Based on the 1st debate mouth it appears American prefer a loutish, loud-mouthed bully who lies

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