Elizabeth Edwards Rips Press on Campaign Coverage

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By: E&P Staff

In an op-ed piece for The New York Times on Sunday, aptly titled “Bowling 1, Health Care 0,” Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Sen. John Edwards, castigated the media for its coverage of the 2008 race for the White House.

The lengthy op-ed opens with a look at the recent Pennsylvania campaign but goes well beyond that.

“The vigorous press that was deemed an essential part of democracy at our country?s inception is now consigned to smaller venues, to the Internet and, in the mainstream media, to occasional articles,” she writes. “I am not suggesting that every journalist for a mainstream media outlet is neglecting his or her duties to the public. And I know that serious newspapers and magazines run analytical articles, and public television broadcasts longer, more probing segments.

“But I am saying that every analysis that is shortened, every corner that is cut, moves us further away from the truth until what is left is the Cliffs Notes of the news, or what I call strobe-light journalism, in which the outlines are accurate enough but we cannot really see the whole picture….

“The problem today unfortunately is that voters who take their responsibility to be informed seriously enough to search out information about the candidates are finding it harder and harder to do so, particularly if they do not have access to the Internet.

“Did you, for example, ever know a single fact about Joe Biden?s health care plan? Anything at all? But let me guess, you know Barack Obama?s bowling score. We are choosing a president, the next leader of the free world. We are not buying soap, and we are not choosing a court clerk with primarily administrative duties.”

The full piece is at www.nytimes.com, along with a video interview with Edwards.

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