Ex-U.S. Presidential wannabes lambast campaign coverage
This year’s headline keynote speakers at the CTIA annual industry showcase were former presidential candidates John Edwards and Fred Thompson? Last year the wireless show nabbed Former actual Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton as keynote speakers.
After lamenting lost chances and nodding to the increasing importance of technology in campaigns, both politicians then got busy criticizing how the mainstream media has handled the presidential campaign so far.
Edwards spent a good deal of his keynote discussing how voters, despite wall to wall coverage of the campaign, seemed largely ignorant of the remaining hopefuls’ John McCain (R), Barack Obama (D) and Hillary Clinton (D) differing approaches to issues such as global warming, national security or health care.
“What you’d expect is a more informed electorate,” said Edwards in answer a question about the impact of 24-hour media coverage of the campaigns.
“Unfortunately that’s not the case,” he said during the questions session after his keynote.
“There is so much focus on the superficial. The American people deserve better. You deserve to be better informed than that,” said Edwards before refusing to reveal who he would vote for and saying that he would not consider a nomination for vice-president.
Thompson was equally contemptuous of the mainstream media campaign coverage.
“There’s nothing more dangerous than a writer or a television personality with dead airtime he’s got to fill up,” said the former actor.
“Controversy is the name of the game and sometimes it’s generated when it’s not really there,” he said of coverage of the campaign so far. “We’re seeing it in these campaigns, the good side and the bad side of these new ways to communicate,” said Thompson.
In his speech he referred to the double-edged sword of blogs and services like Twitter, which lets users send updates to a large group of people.
However, neither seemed to blame the media for their failure to win nominations for the top job. Thompson blamed his failure on his taking advice that he should “be himself.” Edwards said, “If some of you voted for me it wasn’t enough of you.”
(Photo: Sinead Carew / John Edwards (top); Fred Thompson (bottom)