The Politics of Personal Distraction in 2008 Commentator John Carroll says that media coverage of presidential campaigns always includes the politics of personal distraction — focusing on touchy subjects that voters may or may not find significant. What, exactly, does the voting public have the right to know?
NPR logo

The Politics of Personal Distraction in 2008

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/16196988/16165538" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Politics of Personal Distraction in 2008

The Politics of Personal Distraction in 2008

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/16196988/16165538" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

LIANE HANSEN, Host:

One of the criticisms heard most often has to do with the issues that the news media choose to cover. Sure, inquiring minds want to know, but commentator John Carroll says they don't necessarily want to know everything.

JOHN CARROLL: For the most part, Romney has been circumspect about his religion.

MITT ROMNEY: You take the oath of office and the rule of law as your primary promise to God, and that's the way I feel. My church wouldn't endeavor to tell me what to do on a health issue, and I wouldn't listen to them on it.

CARROLL: Unidentified Woman: The basic facts are these two people have both been married three times. So the voter will have to decide whether or not they agree with that or not.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOX NEWS ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CARROLL: Fun fact to know and tell. Giuliani's first marriage was annulled because the Mrs. was his second cousin, not the third cousin he thought she was.

HANSEN: gender. During a debate several weeks ago, Senator Hillary Clinton found herself under siege by the male Democratic presidential hopefuls. That led Clinton to claim they were piling on. Clinton later tried to, as they say, parse the issue.

HILLARY CLINTON: No, I don't think they're piling on because I'm a woman. I think they're piling on because I'm winning. And I understand that.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: I anticipated it's going to get even, you know, hotter. And if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. And I'm very much at home in the kitchen. So I think I'll stick around.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

CARROLL: Excellent. Maybe this time she'll bake us some cookies.

HANSEN: John Carroll comment on politics and the media for WGBH in Boston.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.