Ex-U.S. Presidential wannabes lambast campaign coverage

April 3, 2008

The wireless industry’s clout attracted former U.S. presidents last year, but this year it was just enough to lure the former wannabes.

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. thompson.JPG
“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)


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Censorship works for you eh??

Posted by Winghunter | Report as abusive

Well, I surely blame the media for the horrors of this election = sicko….and now I have actually read a piece by Reuters? Can I believe a word?What they said was much to kind to you!

Posted by jf tous | Report as abusive

Lol, even your title for this article demeans those who would dare challege the media’s bias.Anyone watch AC360 last night? I swear the bias, snideness, and nonsense are hitting new heights. So, Gov. Richardson SAYS that Hillary Clinton told him “Obama cannot win,” and Anderson Cooper tries to turn this into a racial remark. Really? How did he get there? Amazing. And btw, Richardson has officially confirmed that he is a Judas revealing private conversations for the sake of pimping Obama.Has anyone noticed that Obama’s out spending Clinton 4 or 5 to 1, the media is sucking his toes, and she’s STILL less than a half a percentage point behind him in actual votes? Instead, they talk about how much more money Obama raised during his “bad month” on the campaign trail (if the situation were reversed, they’d say everyone just felt sorry for her). Can’t the media just stop this crap and let these two candidates rise or fall on their own merit and focus on the issues, not this SILLY BS? Apparently not, cause CNN gave Campbell Brown her own show so that she can wrinkle up her face in disdain whenever Clinton’s name is mentioned, and get all giddy and breathless when talking about Obama. Jesus, this is getting more and more like an episode of American Idol every day. Seems like half the commentators on TV are styling themselves after Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.

Posted by Teri Beaugez | Report as abusive

Interesting, Sinead, that the “tags” for this post include Barack Obama, but neither Edwards or Thompson. Is than an indication of your own view of their relevance?Of course the media didn’t pay attention to the issues, probably because most of the writers and reporters don’t care. They care about “a story.” How sad it is.Both Edwards and Thompson are right — the voters deserve better. But, too many voters don’t ask for more. They’d rather follow the 30-second sound bytes.It’s scary to think how many millions will cast their votes in November based on nothing more than the latest polls, which are also based on what uninformed voters are thinking. Hopefully more of them will pay attention during the coming 7 months; but, I’m skeptical.Reuters is not one of the sources I’d recommend.

Posted by Linda D in Nevada | Report as abusive

Hi Linda,Through no fault of the writer Sinead Carew, I had neglected to add more tags in my haste. Fixed.–editor

Posted by Kenneth Li | Report as abusive

Absentee CongressRunning for President may not seem to be a justification for depriving Americans of their Constitutional right of representation unless you are a member of the United States Congress. Serving as a member of the United States Congress is a full time job as is running for President. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives cannot effectively represent their constituents while they are traveling throughout the country campaigning for President. Since they are not performing their duties in congress their constituents are deprived of their constitutional right of representation in their government. Thus a member of congress who chooses to devote their time to looking for another job must step down from office so as not to deprive their constituents of their constitutional rights. To not do so reveals indeciveness about which job they want and a lack of self confidence about their ability to win the new office they seek. Indecivness and lack of self confidence are not traits which qualify one to be leader of the free world. Neither the founders of this country nor its citizens expected their representatives to use their office as a mere mailing address while they look for another jobDuring the 2004 Presidential campaigning season while Senator John Kerry was running for President he missed 488 votes setting the Senate record in the 108th congress for the most votes missed. On the house side Richard Gephardt of Missouri set the missed vote record for the 108th congress by missing a whopping 938 votes while seeking his party’s nomination for President. Former United States Senator for New Jersey, John Corzine kept his Senate seat while running for New Jersey Governor and set the Senate record in the 109th congress by missing one third of the votes he was obligated to cast by virtue of his responsibility to represent the people of the State of New Jersey.Before the first 2008 Presidential primary candidates Senator John McCain missed more than 240 votes, Joe Biden more than 190, Christopher Dodd and Barrack Obama more than 130 votes and Senator Hillary Clinton 100 votes. On the House side Rep. Tom Tancredo failed to vote more than 330 times, Ron Paul missed more than 300 votes and Dennis Kucinich 134. While they campaigned for President all of these members of congress spoke of how committed they are to representing the American people but all of them are largely abandoned the people they were already obligated to represent!The extraordinary, self endowed privilege to run for another office while they hold their seat in congress effectively gives them the right to sidestep their constitutional obligations and deprive the peoples of their constitutional right of representations while they look for another job. Members of congress can run for reelection, win their seat, and immediately start looking for another job as was the case with Hillary Clinton. This is especially egregious and deceitful to all those who worked for, contributed to and voted for the candidate in the belief that if elected they would faithfully serve in the office to which they were elected. Voters are made to look like fools when they realize all their representative wanted was a prestigious job to fall back on in case their Presidential aspirations did not work out. Imagine any of us being able to require our boss keep our job open for a year or two while looked for a better job while we continue to receive full pay, maintain a staff and keep medical, dental and pension benefits.If a member of congress does not have the courage to choose which job they want they certainly do not have the character or qualifications to be President of the United States.Larry DonahueMoorestown, NJ

Posted by Larry Donahue | Report as abusive

Good comments on a dumb article. Sinead gave enough ‘truth’ points in her article to shoot herself in the foot several times over. It’s my belief that (as you label them) the “wannabes”, should more appropraitely be labeled the “Shouldabeens”. That is, if a Real discussion about the Real Issues this country faces were to have been ever discussed. Ever wonder why talk radio is booming these days? It’s because it makes a person think about the issues and what is actually happening in this country and the world. That is, unless your an “Air America” fan –> seemingly an extension of CNN. The only personalities I see on CNN that actually talk about the issues (agree or not) are Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs. The rest is garbage.I heard earlier today (not on the Boob tube of course), that Colin Powell and his wife have finished a new study that has found out that Minneapolis is one to the worst cities in the U.S. for graduating it’s students. In the study, “Fifty percent (50%) of all students in Minneapolis fail to graduate high school.” High School folks! And there are many, many other cities listed from all over the U.S. that are not far behind that. There are laws in place now that allow and protect these teenagers to chose as they please whether or not they want to continue attending high school. Are you the parent of one of these kids? Because if you are, you Cannot Lawfully Interfere with YOUR child’s “rights”. Just think, one day in the near future these brainiacs will have the same vote value as you and I.Larry (above) makes very good points too. Although, the way it is now, I’m not sure I would want my Congressman (who legally has a right to seek another job) to continue voting on legislation that he/she is not well-informed on. Missing votes on bills that they do not follow closely is probably a good thing. Although Larry points out the fact that if they want to seek such an office, they should step down from their current position. This might be tough since it would put most of them (who do not attain the job) out of their current position. Yes, imagine you or I trying to get away from work to go apply and “show & tell” for a new position.Here’s how I see a reform that may (or not) be plausible. If the current Senator or Representative wished to seek another job, so be it. If this job seek would interfere with their present duties of representing their constituents, they SHOULD STEP DOWN (so I agree with Larry). But the next step to this is the reform that MUST take place in the elections process. I don’t have all the details sorted out, but can’t we have an elections process that has very little money involved in it?? Now I’m stepping on the “marketeers” feet but, if there were an initial qualification process for actually being considered a candidate (not sure the details yet), then taking these candidates and having a series of debates (like shown before), but Completely Different. No more “sound bites” on a 30-second answer to a Big Issue. Debates Per Topic! (for the big issues)… and a round table discussion of issues and ideas. A more comfortable setting for the candidates, but a process nonetheless that allows each candidate to explain his ideas on a particular topic and have those ideas thrown around a bit. Even 2 hours to discuss 1 topic (ie. healthcare) is not enough to solve any problems but America would get a clear understanding on where the candidate stood on the issue and how much knowledge they really have on it. Anyway, this is part of my idea, and I’d also like to get rid of TV commercials for Presidential Candidates all-together. Your only selling yourself, but you don’t mention who you really are. I know marketing like this works, but works for who?? My opinion, the stupid people! That’s who! If I know your name because I saw your fancy, funny, cute Ad on TV or the internet, and I’ve never heard of the other candidate, I should vote for you based on that alone??? Never!! Sadly, many people DO vote based on the little knowledge they have of the Candidate. As John Edwards pointed out with the 24-hour media coverage, “What you’d expect is a more informed electorate, Unfortunately that’s not the case,”.

Posted by Thomas K. Titamer | Report as abusive