Third Parties

Ending the Hit and Run Nader Blackout

|

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.

NEXT: Let Me Eat Cake!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Wait, isn’t that the guy from that Aeon Flux episode, “The Demiurge?”

    I don’t what his policies are, but giving birth looked painful. Thank God it was a C-section.

  2. why does it seem, more and more, that it wouldn’t be a Presidential election if Nader wasn’t running?

  3. Media outfits cannot make money if they have to showcase Ralph Nader shenanigans all day – their viewers / subscribers simply won’t have it. Sounds like a good criteria to me, a nation gets the media it deserves.

  4. 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.

    I stopped reading this Newspeak nonsense about right there.

    Does this clown have a valid point or not? Wait, don’t tell me, the answer is most probably NO.

    Thought Ezra Klein talked Mr. Nader up in The Prospect some. Can’t he be happy with that? Guess not.

    Perhaps he is dreaming of the days when Mike Douglas had him on the show every other week and Phil Donohue every other year.

    Ben,

    I have been thinking similar since Lyndon Larouche stopped running.

  5. 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.

    The exact same criteria the government will use to decide who gets what money in a publicly financed election system.

  6. Is it an apochryphal story, or did Nader respond to a Washington newapaper that gave him the “because you can’t win” excuse:

    Then why are you covering the Nationals?

  7. Brian,

    I used to read Li’l Abner all through the 1970s, but don’t remember Mr. Nader being featured. Could be my bad memory, but I was aware of Ralph Nader back then and just don’t remember him in there.

  8. The American people have already spoken on this subject. They are clear. There is no confusion. They do not want Ralph Nader as their president.

  9. You can’t fairly mention Li’l Abner today and not link to Jim Treacher’s Li’l Obama strip: http://jimtreacher.com/archives/001828.html

  10. why does it seem, more and more, that it wouldn’t be a Presidential election if Nader wasn’t running?

    I guess you’re too young to remember Pat Paulsen. We haven’t had a decent election in this country since Bob Dole was on the ticket.

  11. UPDATE II: Nader and Barr are debating this afternoon in Ohio, starting at 4:30 EST.

    Did Ohio end daylight-saving time early this year?

  12. Did Ohio end daylight-saving time early this year?

    Yes, environmentalists complained that the extra hour of sunlight was causing more global warming.

  13. Bob “Keep Farmers on the” Dole.

  14. So lets carry this “You can’t win” thing to it’s extreme. Why is McCain getting any coverage in the state of California? He can’t win there..

  15. I know the Onion is supposed to piss people off, but isn’t it supposed to be funny in the process? That three paragraph attempt at humor about Barr comes off as just mean-spirited.

  16. If Nader would go after ford in the same manner he went after GM and hot dogs, perhaps . . . No, wait. If Nader went after Chrysler in the same way he went after GM and hotdogs, perhaps they could avoid going under.

  17. “This campaign in the next couple weeks is about one thing. It’s a referendum on socialism,” Todd Akin (R-MO) 10/20/08.

    So. How’s that going?

  18. If Nader or Barr got into a steamy sex scandal, there’d be more coverage. Look what it did for John Edwards.

  19. You think *that* was a mean-spirited Onion article? These are the authors of “Burundi Beef Council: Please Send Beef”.

  20. Nadar, the son of immigrants from Lebanon, has had impressive 3rd party runs in the last few presidential elections. I disagree with his policies, but I admire Nadar’s gumption. He doesn’t let his ethnicity be a barrior or a crutch.

  21. Abdul | October 31, 2008, 7:21am | #

    If Nader or Barr got into a steamy sex scandal, there’d be more coverage. Look what it did for John Edwards.

    I can’t picture Nader and Barr in a sex affair. The argument over who should pick up the dinner check would last all night.

  22. One says, “Jewelie has no freaking clue what twitter is and needs to know how people have time for this?” In another, the person says she is “order clothes from china.” As with the Facebook and MySpace profiles, it is not clear whether the Twitter page belongs to the woman alleged to have had an affair with Woods.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.