Douglas MacKinnon

Why would the media elevate Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards over a candidate who has more than twice as many years in Congress as those three combined? On issues of importance to the left, he is considered a man of substance and real experience. He has a liberal track record with regard to foreign policy, health care, women's issues, banking and education. Beyond that, he speaks Spanish fluently and has great hair.

One angry Dodd supporter told me, "the media counts Hillary's time as an observer of her husband's presidency as deep experience. If that is their criterion, shouldn't former press secretaries Mike McCurry or Joe Lockhart be running for president?"

A better question to be asked with regard to why the media and Democrats would sacrifice seasoned candidates like Mr. Dodd and Sen. Joe Biden is: Have they fallen into their own trap of political correctness? That being, in their rush to diversify their newsrooms with more minorities and women, have they too quickly jettisoned veteran, gray-haired men for very young, relatively inexperienced reporters?

In turn, have these young minority and female editors and reporters let personal bias or human nature get in the way of fair and even coverage? In other words, did they even subconsciously give more time, attention and copy to candidates who looked and sounded more like them at the expense of the older white guys like Mr. Dodd and Mr. Biden?

To their credit, Brian Williams and Tim Russert of NBC News attempted to address the over-influence of the media on the night of the Iowa caucuses. Both men wondered if the press was creating "self-fulfilling prophecies for the 'bottom-tier' candidates." Mr. Russert admitted that it was a subject that was going to have to be dealt with at some point.

But not now. Such introspection will come too late for the Dodds and the Bidens of this campaign — men of experience who will now see Mr. Obama, a candidate with really just one year of service in the Senate, elevated, at least for the moment, to frontrunner status.

Is his a resume worthy of the presidency? How much blame or credit does the media deserve for this outcome?

And finally, who pays the ultimate price for such interference?


Douglas MacKinnon

Douglas MacKinnon is former White House and Pentagon official who spent three years working in a Joint Command.

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