Luc's "Athletic Aesthetic" Volume One Column


Blacklisting The Media

Not many of us are fans of the media.  We often think they have a bias of some sorts.  Conservatives think there's a liberal bias, liberals think there's a drama/intimidation-from-the-right-about-a-liberal-bias bias.  Regardless, the media must still be dealt with, since they are the main arbiters of what the public learns about candidates and policy.

Therefore, the decision by State Superintendent candidate Don Pridemore's campaign that the operation will not allow interviews from five state reporters is particularly short-sighted.  Sure, Assembly Pridemore believes these reporters are biased towards a liberal point of view.  As the memo said: 

"These are all LIBERAL's and have chosen to parse words, phrases and spin my responses to fit their agendas. If they continue to spin our written responses, they will be ignored in the future."

True, Rep. Pridemore did not write the memo, and he's now saying that the staffer who wrote the memo has resigned.  Nevertheless, the approach of a campaign to avoid mainstream reporters on a mass basis because of a suspicison of bias in ineffective at best and paranoid at worst.  There are politicians who avoid particular media sources:  liberals who won't go on Fox News, conservatives staying away from MSNBC, some U.S. Senators -- like Al Franken -- who will only talk to home-state media and not the national press.  Sometimes the strategy can work.  However, broad-brushing non-opinion reporters can lead to less-favorable coverage if you won't directly talk to those press members...and, at worst, could be indicative of the style of management we could expect from a Superintendent Pridemore.  We have had enough trouble from the Walker administration and GOP-led legislature when it comes to schools and teachers.  The top school official in the state cannot enter office with a predilection for enemies amongst those he may not agree with.  A leader cannot declare war against those who that person leads.

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