Elizabeth Edwards Discusses “Presidential Idol”

As this season’s installment of Presidential Idol continues, Elizabeth Edwards checks in with a New York Times op-ed that laments the superficial media coverage of the real issues that confront Americans. While Mrs. Edwards hits the nail squarely on the head, and will be applauded on both the left and right, her frustration comes out about 8 months too late…

Commentary By: Richard Blair

If there’s one great lamentation that I have about John Edwards no longer being in the Democratic Party primary sweepstakes, it’s that we don’t get to see or hear much from his wife, Elizabeth. She’s a true national treasure, and would have been a wonderful First Lady.

This morning the NYT published an op-ed from Mrs. Edwards which blasts the legacy media coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign. And though her words will certainly ring true with progressives (and even many conservatives), unfortunately, she’s not covering any new ground.

For the most part, press reporting on campaigns in both the Democratic and Republican parties has been as shallow (and as annoying) as a bad bowling score. While I think that we’re all conditioned to expect the 30 second soundbite in candidate commercials, anyone who truly wants to make a more informed decision based on actual policy positions will simply not get the information they need from either print or broadcast legacy media outlets.

There are three key issues on which most Americans will be basing their decisions when electing the next president:

- Healthcare (Obama, Clinton, McCain)
- The U.S. economy (Obama, Clinton, McCain)
- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Obama, Clinton, McCain)

The above links provide more information on each of the candidate’s positions on these three top issues than anyone will receive in 18 months of campaign rhetoric and press coverage. And yes, Elizabeth, it’s indeed depressing. She writes:

News is different from other programming on television or other content in print. It is essential to an informed electorate. And an informed electorate is essential to freedom itself. But as long as corporations to which news gathering is not the primary source of income or expertise get to decide what information about the candidates “sells,” we are not functioning as well as we could if we had the engaged, skeptical press we deserve…

“Engaged”? The legacy media controllers have been infinitely more fixated on Presidential Idol. “Skeptical”? How can the legacy media be skeptical when they’re snarfing down BBQ and beer at John McCain’s place?

While we can certainly appreciate Mrs. Edwards’ concerns, and applaud her for raising the issue of superficial press coverage on the New York Times op-ed pages, it would have been a whole lot more strategic (and impactful) had she spoken out back when the heathers in the media were spending more time on the phony issue of her husband’s haircuts than his positions on healthcare. But of course, had she spoken out when John was still in the race, no doubt she would have been characterized as “shrew-ish” on those same op-ed pages.

Sunday, April 27th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

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