The media is getting the blame for the exit of US Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) from the Republican presidential primaries. The lack of coverage, his campaign notes, deprived him of the chance to compete. However, some might argue that the fact that he received less than 50 votes in the Iowa Straw Poll might also have had something to do with it.
According to the Washington Post, McCotter pulled in exactly 35 votes at the poll. However, McCotter said it was the media’s decision not to grant him entrée into any of the debates held thus far that did in his campaign.
The Post notes that McCotter has been in the US House for five terms – but we suspect that most readers of RBR-TVBR would be hard pressed to remember anything he has done, other than those in or near his district.
Every four years a new crop of candidates jump into the presidential primary contest, and every four years it is well-known that many of them don’t have even a remote chance of getting elected. Sometimes, however, the primary platform can be used to upgrade political stature or pave the way for a more serious future run.
And there’s one more significant motivator: We believe that many of them are principally auditioning for a media gig. Blame the media, then join it!
RBR-TVBR observation: Yeah, yeah it’s the media’s fault. We’ve been listening to Newt Gingrich complain the most about the media lately – all the media has done for him is incessantly call him an “ideas” man for several years and pay him a regular salary to put those ideas out over Fox News Channel. He apparently believes it is the media’s fault, not his, that his entire campaign staff eventually came to believe that the primary motivation behind the Gingrich campaign was merchandising Gingrich products, and quit on him en mass.
If you fail to build a campaign capable of generating the kind of warchest necessary to compete, or you fail to excite enough citizens to build a groundswell of grassroots support, there simply is nothing to cover.
It is not the media’s job to bestow viability on a candidate – it is the candidate’s job. You have to earn the coverage, Mr. McCotter – nobody’s going to just hand it over to you.