Rick Perry vs. the media
Thu November 4, 2010 9:20 am

This is from a Web site called Mr. Media Training blog:

“2010 was supposed to be the year that attacking the media – if not ignoring it altogether – was the winning media strategy. It didn’t turn out that way. Tuesday’s election results are a vindication for media strategists who have long argued that maintaining positive press relations is still the best path to electoral success.”

“That’s not to say that an anti-media campaign strategy can’t work. It can, and it did for a handful of candidates. But the high-wire tactic tends to be horribly overused, unnecessarily crippling otherwise viable candidates.”

* * * *

Tell that to Rick Perry. Perry refused to debate his opponents; he refused to meet with editorial boards; and he won by a comfortable margin. Perry exults in stiffing the media. After the 2006 gubernatorial debate, when all four candidates were supposed to take questions afterward, Perry left for Austin and let Tommy Williams answer questions in his stead, while staffer Robert Black smirked in the background. At the National Conference of Editorial Writers this fall, which I attended as a panelist, Perry did not take questions – which is usually standard practice at these kinds of conferences – and hobnobbed with local TV reporters instead.

Could this be the model for politicians in the age of MSM media decline? I would not be surprised to see Perry take an aggressive anti-media stance in the coming presidential campaign, as several Republican candidates did during Senate races. He will turn the endorsements that he didn’t get from the state’s newspapers into a positive: “The liberal media in Texas endorsed my opponent and I won by twelve points.” I’m told that his folks have already polled the issue, and it’s a big winner in among Republicans.

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