Ralph Nader asks the mainstream media: "Why do you ignore me?" in an "open letter to the media." To quote the good parts:
What journalistic criteria have you been employing in this presidential year that guides your pronounced non-coverage of the number three campaign that advances majoritarian agendas based on long experience, involvement, and accomplishment. These agendas are either opposed or ignored by McCain and Obama (see www.votenader.org) and are often rooted in the very investigative reports by your reporters?
It is puzzling how editors and publishers who oversee these prize winning stories seem to lose interest in covering Americans who are trying to do something with that information for a better country.
We asked one top editor of a major daily why his paper was not covering us at all and he said, "Because you can't win." Besides being a catch-22 that he quickly acknowledged, that is not a supportable newsworthy judgment. News Media have covered many stories outside the electoral arena of people "who can't win" and such coverage extends to both the import of the struggles and the reasons why "winning is not possible" given the stacked deck against them.
There has been a witting or unwitting political bigotry against third parties and independent candidates, as there was years ago against minority voters. Against the status of such candidates obstructed through ballot access laws by the two parties that dislike competition they present other rigged ways to secure their domination over the electoral landscape, including gerrymandering each other in the majority of Congressional Districts, for example.
Meanwhile, in a related story, the Onion reports: "Bob Barr on Two-Party System: 'Waaah! Waaah!"
UPDATE: Wanted to add, for no particular reason: available for a buy it now price of $12.25 on Ebay is the June 1971 Esquire issue with cover story by Gore Vidal: "Ralph Nader Can be the Next President of the United States." Plus ca whatever…. I was also informed yesterday by my cartoonist pal Joe Matt that Ralph Nader appeared as a regular character in early '70s Li'l Abner strips, often seeking advice and succor from the rat race by visiting Daisy Mae in Dogpatch. A few minutes search failed to find corroborating evidence for this on the World Wide Web, but if anyone has more to add—images please!–have at it.
UPDATE II: Nader and Barr are debating this afternoon in Ohio, starting at 4:30 EST. You should be able to watch live via this link.