Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Press's Process Predilection

In today's Sub-Standard, there was an excellent example of not just why it's going to be difficult to beat Jim Walsh, why it's difficult to beat any incumbent. The press doesn't bother to cover policy, as in what the policy is, what are the policy differences, and what would be the outcome of these policies. Instead they focus on process, how does this policy position help the challenge, is this just grandstanding, whose ahead in the polls, whose raised the most money, etc. No one opens the paper and says, "Oh! Candidate A is beating Candidate B in the latest poll so I'm voting for A." No, instead it's the policy side that matters to the voters, they need to hear about the policy differences and they need to know what the policies will do, in order to decide who the support or if they support an incumbent's record. This is not just a symptom of the Sub-Standard and my occasional punching bag, Frederic Pierce, but he did it today:

Capanna dismissed the idea Wednesday that the activities were gimmicks designed to boost her name recognition against either designated Democratic candidate Dan Maffei or longtime Republican incumbent Walsh.

Gee, "is this just a gimmick to boost name recognition" is a good question, but why not try something like, "what are the ramifications of the lack of a balanced budget," or "why should we donate charitable items for poor children"? Not to mention the mere statement "the activities were gimmicks" whether dismissed or not, still gives the implication they were gimmicks.



At 1:45 PM, Blogger Orangeman said...

I think you were off base here. The point of his article was right: Capanna's activities ARE gimmicks.

Seriously. Rollerblading door to door? Performance Poetry? Exactly HOW is that supposed to inspire me to fire my Congressman?

Let's see, uh.....I'm the Syracuse Post Editorial Board, I voice opinions to the community about our collective future and the leaders we elect. Who should I take seriously as a Representative in Washington for the region: the rollerblading performance poet, or Jim Walsh, the 18 year incumbent and Chairman of an Approps Subcommittee?

At 3:09 PM, Blogger The Watcher said...

1) This post was about a problem with the press, it had nothing to do with Paloma. I had been meaning to write about this for some time, this article provided me a good opportunity to.

2) I don't always agree with Paloma's strategies or tactics, but you are intentionally misrepresenting the situation to create a false reason to attack her. First she is rollerblading on Sunday at the Parkway, so she's out meeting voters. And Second she's biking door to door with her petitions, which she needs to get on the ballot.

3) The Sub-Standard endorsed Joanie Mahoney, and correct me if I'm wrong, but in 2004 they endorsed Chuck Ivarone!

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gotta agreee with Orangeman here.

I respect your posts, but, I'm sorry, this one DID have everything to do with Paloma.

The article you criticized was detailing the activities PC is using to advance her campaign. Not a lot of candidates out there rollerblading or mountain-biking to advance their candidacy and Fred Pierce (in a digest story) made that point. She knows what she's doing are gimmicks -- that's why she's doing them - TO GET ATTENTION.

Nobody disagree with your point that it would be great if the press focused on policy differences and what those differences mean to voters. But, we never have the opportunity for a real debate if our candidates look like fools.

I think when a person self-selects to run for office, they need to understand that the way they present themselves becomes symbolic of the party they seek to represent. By doing what she's doing, she gives Republicans the ability to mock Democrats -- "you hear about that Dem-o-crat challenging Walsh? YEAH, she's ROLLERBLADING her way to Washington. Yuk, Yuk, Yuk...."

And as for previous Post're smokin' somethin' if you think they will endorse ANYONE other than Walsh.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger The Watcher said...

The post had nothing to do with Paloma, she just happened to get a bad question published on a morning I had nothing else to write about. My defense of her here is by no means meant to be an endorsement of her tactics. Whether or not what she is doing are gimmicks, I think readers of the Sub-Standard are quite capable of judging that for themselves without Fred Pierce asking an annoying process question or editorializing.

As for my point about the endorsement, I was saying quirkiness is no obstacle to their endorsement. But clearly they will endorse Walsh.


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