Thursday, September 11, 2008

Third Party Candidates, Part II

Yesterday's post is in need of a correction, update, and clarification.

Ralph Nader is not a third-party candidate. He is running as an independent. In 2000 and 2004 he ran as the Green Party candidate. This time, the Green Party candidate is Cynthia McKinney, a former member of the US House from Georgia. Another third party candidate is Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin.

After writing yesterday's post, I was driving home from work and heard this story on NPR. Ron Paul, who ran for the Republican nomination, held a press conference with the main third-party candidates (absent Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr). Paul gave a general endorsement of third-party candidates without endorsing any particular candidate.

I was struck by the general tone of NPRs piece. The reporter, Ari Shapiro, was basically mocking the candidates. He began the segment by referring to them as a "motley crew," for instance. NPR seemed to present the news as a humor segment, something that we should laugh at, rather than as serious news about the 2008 election. I think that NPR, or any serious news organization for that matter, should treat these candidates with more respect than that. They should leave the teasing to Comedy Central, Saturday Night Live, and the late night talk shows.

My desire for third-party candidates to be included in one of the debates and to be treated with more respect by the news media does not constitute an endorsement of any candidate in particular, or a "Ron-Paul-esque" general endorsement of third party candidates. Learning About Politics does not endorse candidates.

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