Now that John Edwards has dropped out of the race, the corporate media can finally acknowledge his existence.
Then go back to what they’ve been doing all along; hyping up the race between Hillary and Barack.
As I mentioned in a previous post, the media is more interested in pursuing a juicy story than covering the actual issues or candidates.
In this case, reporters couldn’t help but root for a battle between the two minority candidates; a black man and a white woman. That would be history in the making. A southern white boy born into a poor family only to become president is a story that has been written before.
At the top of the corporate media food chain, the Wall Street bigwigs don’t see Edwards as the rehashing of an old story but as a danger to their greedy livelihood.
Edwards, after all, was the only candidate who rallied against the power of the corporations. If elected, he promised to slash corporate tax breaks and lobbyist influence.
Considering the media is on a quest to dismantle whatever is left of the FCC regulations that prevent them from complete cross-ownership, Edwards was their worst nightmare. So it treated Edwards as the candidate with the long shot, patronizingly referring to him as the “populist” candidate.
Edwards, possibly the sharpest candidate to have run in this election, immediately called the media on its patronization.
“If the word populist means that I stand with ordinary Americans against powerful interests, the answer’s yes, but that phrase is sometimes used in an old, backward-looking way,” he says in an interview with USA TODAY. His brand of populism is “very forward-looking,” based on big ideas that will help all Americans, he says.
Right. “Forward-looking”. A concept so foreign that USA Today needed to put quotation marks around the words. The equivalent of the know-it-all bore at the cocktail party who smugly forms quotation marks in the air with his fingers as he condescends those whom he considers inferior.
Of course, this could be mere speculation on my part. After all, Edwards was my candidate. I voted for him last Tuesday in the Florida primary even though I knew my vote wouldn’t count.
Out of curiosity, I checked the archives of a few American newspapers, plugging in the names of a few democratic candidates to see how many times their names had been mentioned in that particular newspaper during a particular time period.
I made sure to put quotation marks around the names, like that smug bastard at the party. And I plugged in both “Hillary Clinton” and “Hillary Rodham Clinton”.
The time periods I used vary according to the archival system of each publication, ranging from 90 days to more than a year starting from Jan. 1st, 2007.
What I discovered was that Hillary Clinton’s name was mentioned almost twice as much as John Edwards’ name, if not more than twice. And Barack Obama’s name was mentioned about 1.5 times as much as Edwards.
One can argue that these results are a reflection of the polls, but let’s not forget that Edwards beat Clinton in Iowa.
More likely, they are a reflection of the candidates’ war chest, proving once again, that corporate America chooses our president.
Here are my results:
The New York Times - last 90 days
“Hillary Rodham Clinton” – 538 results
“Hillary Clinton” 256 results
Total for Clinton 794 results
“Barack Obama” - 614 results
“John Edwards” 355 results
“Bill Richardson - 59 results
But I figured that Clinton will naturally get more coverage by The New York Times considering she is a New York Senator. So I tried the archives of The Washington Post.
The Washington Post - Jan. 1st. 2007 to Jan 17th, 2008
“Hillary Rodham Clinton”- 1,122 results
“Hillary Clinton” – 788 results
Total for Clinton -1,910 results
“Barack Obama” -1,467 results
“John Edwards” -920 results
“Bill Richardson” – 300 results
“Dennis Kucinich”-86 results
Then I checked the archives of USA Today, which I figured might mention the election in between celebrity interviews and casserole recipes. But then I was reminded how Gannett, the company that owns USA Today, doesn’t bother wasting readers’ time with irrelevant information.
USA Today-Jan. 1st, 2007 to Jan. 31st, 2008
“Hillary Clinton” – 208 results
“Hillary Rodham Clinton”- 315 results
Total for Clinton – 523 results
“Barack Obama” -415 results
“John Edwards” -271 results
“Bill Richardson”103 results
“Dennis Kucinich”68 results
Then I went to The Miami Herald, which does a decent job covering politics if it has nothing to do with Cuba.
The Miami Herald- last 180 days
“Hillary Clinton” 797 results
“Hillary Rodham Clinton” 40 results
Total for Clinton -837 results
“Barack Obama” 633 results
“John Edwards”585 results
“Bill Richardson” - 137 results
“Dennis Kucinich” 113 results
And finally, I searched through the archives of Time magazine to see if they had a more balanced approach than America’s leading newspapers. But the results were no different.
Time Magazine - Jan 1st, 2007 – Dec. 31st, 2007
Hillary Clinton – 134 results
Hillary Rodham Clinton -3 results
Total for Clinton -137 results
Barack Obama - 125 results
John Edwards -72 results
Bill Richardson -18 results
Dennis Kucinich -9 results