The standard argument for keeping the field open is that doing so is a way to put a more diverse set of issues and viewpoints on the agenda. It’s a good argument. But the right approach, at this point in the campaign, is not to worry about how to be fair to the also-rans, but how to use them to find out more about the leading candidates. While, yes, the voting remains to be done, it’s safe to say that neither Republican primary voters nor other politically engaged individuals need exhaustive coverage of Santorum’s take on every issue at this point. But it would be interesting to know how Mitt Romney (and other serious candidates, if any emerge) responds to Santorum’s case for manufacturing-based industrial policy, or Paul’s stance on foreign affairs, or Jon Huntsman’s views on trade with China, or—to cite a candidate who really has been frozen out of the debate—Buddy Roemer’s take on campaign finance. And who knows? Maybe there’s a good reason to work Bachmann in here, too.
02:39 PM - November 14, 2011
It Wasn’t ‘Liberal Media’ That Froze Out Bachmann
And why the press is right to focus on the front-runners
Fox News not outraged by retailers’ War on Thanksgiving - As giant stores commercialize the last holdout, Bill O’Reilly & Co. shrug
BuzzFeed’s all-positive books section - It doesn’t make sense to pledge positivity if your aim is to provide readers with critics’ takes on new books. It makes more sense if your aim is to cultivate a thriving community.
Disappointing Deadspin - It broke the Manti Te’o story, but then stopped reporting and resumed trashing
Healthcare in Great Britain vs. healthcare in the USA: part one - A conversation with Chris Smyth, health reporter for The Times of London
Asperger’s, pedophiles, and questionable motivations - A dart to the Daily Beast, for its ill-informed speculation on Adam Lanza’s psyche
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
Immune to Upworthy headlines yet?
‘Too good to check’ used to be a warning to newspaper editors not to jump on bullshit stories. Now it’s a business model
The two civil rights leaders were radicals—and they were right
Political lessons from a lifelong political activist
Timelapse of a photo-realistic painting of the actor being done on an iPad
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.