With a little over a week left before this campaign season ends there is still little to no coverage for any of the third party candidates. As usual, one of the exceptions to the rule comes from the wonderful people over at CSPAN. In particular, their program Washington Journal has highlighted three of the candidates over the past week. Chuck Baldwin (Constitution), Cynthia Mckinney (Green), and Bob Barr (Libertarian) all received 30 minutes of airtime which consisted of an interview and a Q&A session with callers from across the nation.
Thankfully, Cynthia Mckinney was more receptive to answering the moderator’s questions than she usually is in interviews. One example of her usual and more difficult style would be when Greta Brawner interviewed her for an hour for CSPAN’s series entitled, Road to the White House. She displays an Palin-esque quality of avoiding any direct question and talking about whatever she feels. This becomes annoying at best – angering at worst. Coming from someone who generally supports her and agrees with much of what she says, I can only imagine what it must have been like to hear her reapetedly ignore the questions posed by NPR’s Neal Conan on Talk of the Nation for someone unfamiliar with her. NPR’s Scott Simon of Weekend Edition can also be credited with giving her some airplay in one of Cynthia’s better, albeit brief, showings.
Bob Barr is polling at a modest 1.5% nationally and has also benefited by being featured on Road to the White House. I feel he had a far better showing on both Washington Journal and Road to the White House due to actually presenting some sort of concise message. Not only that, but he succeeded in the simple task of answering questions posed to him. What a radical move. Especially considering the hosts of CSPAN and NPR tend to be far more fair in comparison to most moderators. NPR’s News & Notes also gave him a few minutes to detail his campaign goals alongside Weekend Edition’s profile of the candidate.
Unfortunately for Barr and Mckinney, neither of them appeared in the only Third Party Debate after the one at Columbia was canceled. Complete with caller responses immediately following the event, Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin were the only two to take part. This is a really pathetic result for something I personally deem to be quite important. I was personally influenced by the Libertarian platform presented by Michael Badnarik in the 2004 election as a result of CSPAN airing the Third Party Debate. Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin were both also featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition.
After viewing and listening to the minimal coverage the Third Party Candidates receive, I honestly have to say I’ve been the most impressed with Chuck Baldwin’s performances. He comes off as the most honest of all the candidates and presents the most compelling message. He is the most outspoken against real issues such as the Federal Reserve, the New World Order, gun rights, and other Constitutional principles. This is not an endorsement, however. Unfortunately, I disagree with him in regards to some other elements of his platform.
At the end of the day I am still an undecided voter. All I know is that I reject the two corporate puppets that most media outlets present to us as the only options. Its sad that many people believe them.