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Politicians Avoiding the Press: If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get out of the Election

10.23.10

Many politicians are shying away from doing interviews with press anymore — sometimes only doing so if they get the questions ahead of time so they can be prepared or only sitting down with people from specific networks that tend to be favorable to candidates of their party.  (I’m looking at you, Sharron Angle.)

There are all kinds of issues with this — especially in Angle’s case of wanting the press to report the news how she wants it reported (the very definition of bias).  But, I’m going to focus on one that just hit me today.

If you can only handle pressure and adversity if its scripted and handed to you before hand so you can be prepared, how in the world are you going to deal with the constantly changing conditions and situations that come with actually winning an office seat?

Life doesn’t come at us in a way that gives us time to always be prepared to face whatever it throws at us.  Especially for politicians, you have to be quick on your feet.  So while I get the dangers associated with avoiding the press — the increasing demonization of the press (it’s true: not all reporters are cynical and biased) and the lack of knowledge about the candidates themselves — it seems like this would be an issue that should worry people on both sides of the political aisle.

Shouldn’t a political candidate be able to handle the heat that gets thrown at them, even if its unsavory and unprofessional, and especially if its critical and policy-related? Even if the press had some sort of ulterior motive by a shadow conspiracy to take down a particular party, wouldn’t it behoove the candidates to take them on and be seen as the sane, rational voice instead of vice versa?

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4 comments

  1. In the Michigan gubernatorial race, we only had 1 debate between the candidates and we almost didn’t even have that. Either Snyder was afraid of questions that would be asked, or figured that he had enough of a lead that he didn’t think that he needed to bother. I think the Democrats just put in a sacrificial lamb since Granholm hasn’t been very popular, but I really wish that it was a real race. Michigan desperately needs strong leadership and I think the campaign should be a time where we can really test the character of the candidates and be able to probe deeply into their ideas, stances on key issues, and how they intend to lead.

    I knew this election would be a mess — with a barrage of negative campaigning — but I just wish that we had people that I could get excited to stand behind and vote FOR, rather than always having to choose between the lesser of several evils. And they wonder why people are either apathetic or so frustrated that they just want to get rid of any and all incumbents.


  2. This is something we can agree on, there is way too much stage management on all sides of the political spectrum. However, I believe in the american people, most of them, at least the ones over the age of 30, spend enough time educating themselves on the issues and the candidates, they can see the forest through the sleaze! I know I can, I have accepted that there is a lack of moral conviction on all sides in most cases. The only way we can make a difference as individuals is keep voting them out until we have honorable candidates.


    • I’d like to think that many of the voters are doing research before they go vote. I think you’re right. And plus, the number of voters under 30 who are actually going out there to vote is pathetically small.

      I suppose politics has always been sleazy. I’m just becoming more aware of it now as I get older and more active. Ends up being the choosing a lesser of two evils most of the time; with really solid candidates every so often.


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