It's Junkie Day: Billy Don't You Lose My Number

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

If ever a day begged for a political junkie segment, this is it. We planned to talk a little bit about Senator Larry Craig's resignation, and then he changed his mind (maybe). The only problem is that when he made the phone call to let his team know about his new plans, he dialed the wrong number and left a very detailed message. On the campaign front, Fred Thompson won't be in the lineup for tonight's debate in New Hampshire, but he'll get plenty of airtime to make his loooong-awaited announcement. John McCain is still catching flack for calling a high school student a "little jerk," all in good fun. And all of Washington is getting ready for next week's progress report from Gen. David Petraeus on Iraq. We've drafted Ken Rudin into the fray for our usual visit with the political junkie. Got comments? Post 'em here...

Comments

 

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I'm constantly angered that the most popular candidate with real people is completely black-balled by every media outlet, apparently NPR included.

Why is everyone so afraid to speak the name of Ron Paul?

Sent by Tyler Gibson | 3:00 PM | 9-5-2007

It was mentioned somewhere yesterday that Fred will be seen by more people at 12:01am as a share of audience (about 30%) then will view the other Republican candidates (estimated under 10%) several hours earlier. I wonder if the real numbers of people will be lopsided as well. How many people watch the debates and how many Jay Leno?

Sent by Jeffrey D. Meyers | 3:55 PM | 9-5-2007

It's disappointing to hear Ron Paul supporters, such as Tyler, express the view that NPR is "afraid" to speak about their candidate. That's simply not the case. We have often discussed the Paul candidacy; had Adam Hochberg follow him on the campaign trail in Iowa; talked about his views regarding Iraq and the Mideast and the government; how people who had not previously been interested in politics have gravitated to the Paul campaign; and how he has become the rage of the blogosphere. At the same time, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that popularity on the Web doesn't always translate into support at the ballot box -- see Howard Dean in '04. I'll be the first to acknowledge that we don't give many of the so-called "lesser" candidates as much airtime as they should get. But there is no blackballing or boycotting of Congressman Paul. In the meantime, I hope you will check out http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12274886.

Sent by Ken Rudin | 4:02 PM | 9-5-2007

Ken, first let me thank you for taking the time in writing such an eloquent response. That was an excellent article you linked to and it's one of the many reasons I am a loyal NPR listener.

I suppose my real outrage is the general trend of the media to create a mob mentality in politics. When media outlets proclaim a candidate "has no real chance", it results in almost immediate political death. Like it or not, mass media tells the people who is worth voting for. I think our political system would be turned on it's head if there were no longer any mention of campaign money or the constant barrage of support polls (which largely omit "lesser" candidates). In my own 20-something peer group, I find the overwhelming amount of disillusionment and discontent comes from the knowledge that unlike any other competition, it's not the best man that wins, it's the man we are told is the best that wins.

Sent by Tyler Gibson | 5:15 AM | 9-6-2007

I don't understand - The Christian Conservatives' outsized influence on American politics. They make up perhaps 33% of the voting public, yet they hold the Supreme Court and until 2006, both houses of Congress and the presidency - not to mention the devotion of nearly all the Republican candidates. What about the other 2/3rds of the voting population that doesn't agree with them?

Sent by Cathy Hill | 8:04 PM | 9-6-2007

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