Thursday, September 30, 2004

start paying attention anytime now. . .

interesting study from the National Annenberg Election Survey today, basically telling us what we already know: American voters are dramatically underinformed and/or apathetic. the study group blames the media:

Kate Kenski, a senior research analyst at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, blamed the misperceptions on the candidates' focus on Iraq and the news media's emphasis on the "horse race."

two thoughts on this: 1. of COURSE the focus on iraq eats up public attention. its the defining issue. find me a subset of society that cares more about the estate tax than iraq. ok, if you answered grover norquist and a big chunk of the GOP you're right, but i think they're covered in the portion of this survey that's paying attention. 2. the news media loves the horse race, but at some point don't we have to start asking why the american populace needs to be spoon fed information on the candidates ? is there any burden of citizenship that involves informing oneself and seeking out the relative positions ? the media shares responsibility, but the reality is that if voters didn't respond to articles and commentary highlighting irrelevant minutiae about the candidates personal grooming and syntax, the media wouldn't keep producing them.

- LH


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