From Mickey Kaus back in January:
Give Brats a Chance
Journalists love to publicly complain about the influence of money in politics — it’s one of those safe causes that doesn’t compromise your objectivity. But when it comes time to campaign, journalists do the donors’ dirty work for them by refusing to cover candidates who aren’t backed by lots of money. Those candidates are deemed “non-viable” oddities and not worth telling voters about.
There’s no excuse for this: 1) It’s a self-fulfilling prediction. Of course fringe or underfunded candidates won’t be ‘viable’ if they can’t get press (“free media”) to catch the voters’ attention; 2) Even if long-shot candidates stay on the fringe, covering them would have entertainment value. Newspapers cover obscure TV stars these days. Political candidates are often — I’d say, usually — more colorful than actors. The premature winnowing by self-satisfied journalistic pros drains democracy of much of its exuberance, presenting voters with a sharply limited array of options. No wonder they feel alienated. Then the pros scold them for low turnout.