MSNBC had a debate last week. The featured players were clearly Mitt Romney and new frontrunner Rick Perry. Michele Bachmann, who had been catapulted to “frontrunner status” after her win in the Aimes Straw Poll suddenly felt shut out. Welcome to the world where the media tells us who to vote for.
OK, that might be just a tad cynical, but it’s not that far from the truth. For example, Michele Bachmann received tons of press after her Aimes win, while Ron Paul’s second place finish barely got a mention. The result? A huge bump for Bachmann. Now that bump is starting to slide as much of her base eases over to Perry, who the press immediately gave lots of time to.
I’m not the only one who’s noticed either. For example, the New York Times seems to be seeing it as well, though they don’t necessarily disagree with the practice.
Mrs. Bachmann won the first important test of the Republican race in a straw poll in Iowa last month, but she has been upstaged ever since by the entrance of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas into the race.
She was uncharacteristically restrained at a debate last week in California while Mr. Perry and Mitt Romney tore into each other as if they were the only two candidates on stage. Moderators from MSNBC and Politico played into the storyline by returning to them repeatedly and giving each ample time to rebut the other. It was not until 14 minutes in that Mrs. Bachmann got to speak.
When they focus on these so-called “major players”, they give the impression that they’re the only real players. Instead, if they gave equal time to all candidates, then the people of the United States of America could easily make up their own minds. Unfortunately, that’s just not going to happen.