Elizabeth Edwards on the press agenda


The fantastic Elizabeth Edwards has just penned a great piece for the NY Times, blasting the press for it focus on the trivial (the fantastic graphic above accompanied the Times article). Edwards's argument is simple - the desire of the press to construct a simplistic narrative framework through which electoral politics can be viewed excludes really viable candidates who should be considered. The two examples she cites are Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, who could well have been serious contenders but could not get any real campaign traction. Additionally, she argues that certain candidates whose role in the race is artificially inflated because they "fit" - Rudi Giuliani being used as evidence of this. 

I suspect this story has a more personal undertone though. Although Edwards pointedly uses examples of candidates who wound up at the very lowest rung of the primary contest and made little impact, she might well also be thinking of her husband, who despite being a very serious candidate for the Presidency, lost out in the Clinton-Obama deathmatch narrative the media created very rapidly after the Iowa caucus. And it shouldn't be forgotten that Elizabeth Edwards is also returning to a previous campaign talking point about the triviality of the media discourse, which was the subject of what was (in my humble opinion) the best video of the entire campaign season.