John Edwards’ Media Coverage

John Edwards’ campaign recently produced a video demonstrating how little attention Edwards is receiving from the media. While this might come across as whiny (“Hey, look at me! No one ever pays attention to me.”) he has a point.

John Edwards is running for the Presidency. He has spent countless dollars and hours to make his dream a reality. While never really considered the front-runner, he has held his own in the elections so far and performed respectably. However, all you really hear about any of the Democratic candidates is: “Clinton” this and “Obama” that. Edwards certainly does not seem to earn his equal share of the sun.

On the other hand, not every candidate or potential candidate can or should receive equal media spotlight. Is it fair to the people partaking of mainstream media’s offerings to be subjected to news stories about minor candidates who have no real chance at winning (I’m not saying they shouldn’t win, I’m just taking a realistic perspective here). I’m also not saying that Edwards is a minor candidate but the line at mass coverage needs to be drawn somewhere. From the media’s perspectives (forgive the anthropomorphism), there are two major candidates – Clinton and Obama, with Edwards a close or not-so-close third. They are going to provide coverage for the most viable candidates (i.e., who “sells the most stories”).

This shows how influential the media is. It can be frustrating when you are not covered or are only negatively covered, so Edwards’ position is understandable. However, he isn’t the front-runner and so the media aren’t talking about him as much as the two leading candidates. Maybe the chicken came before the egg and they only became the leading candidates because the media covered them more than they covered Edwards. Who knows? In any case, the media has a responsibility to be as benign as possible. That’s a stretch, but in the ideal world it could be reality.

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