Why attacking the press during elections never works


Source: Politico
Author: Roger Simon

[Commentary] The Columbia Journalism Review revealed this week that the "high command" of the John McCain campaign hired a blogger "to attack" and engage in "bullying" the press during the last six months of the presidential campaign. The blogger was Michael Goldfarb, who was hired by the McCain people from The Weekly Standard. The McCain campaign, he says, "assured me that they were looking for someone to attack the press. And that struck me as a really bad idea, but when a presidential campaign calls up and offers you a job, you take it." One of the things Goldfarb reveals is that the McCain campaign was going to throw The New York Times off the campaign plane (presumably when it was on the ground). Goldfarb wrote a memo that was supposed to explain that decision to the public, but the idea was dropped. Barring reporters is rarely done by campaigns. Smart campaigns know that it's a waste of time to attack and ban the media. Seducing the media is much more productive. Attacking the media is a waste because it is not an issue voters care about. Many voters already have a low opinion of the media, and it is unlikely that a campaign can lower it further. All it does is make the campaign look petulant.

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