Sure Washington is the ultimate politcal insider town. Many folks here love to read about the politics of campaigns, how they’re waged and stategies employed. But are there enough such readers to sustain a general interest newspaper, even in Washington, DC?
Apparently, editors at The Post seem to think so. How else to explain the fornt page, above the fold story about the inaction in the Virginia’s governor’s race.
To a degree rarely seen in state politics, Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and Republican Robert F. McDonnell have spent the early summer hunkered down, amassing resources and plotting strategy for what is expected to be a fierce clash of styles and ideas. They are girding for a campaign that is viewed as a bellwether of President Obama’s sway with voters and a first test of the issues that Republicans hope will revive their party.
And yet, Deeds has held only a handful of events since his June primary victory, and McDonnell is going on vacation. Television and radio airwaves have fallen silent.
There is absolutely no news here except that the campagins are not gneerating news. So why then write about it, in the middle of the summer when jouirnalists will tell you many people are not paying attention to the race yet? I’m not even sure the politcal cognescenti care. As of this morning, the story has generated a paltry 19 comments on the Post’s web site. And if they don’t care about this story, why should the average voter/newspaper reader care?
I’ve written before about The Post’s obsession with politcal strategy as opposed to issues. To be fair, The Post (that, my frequent criticism notwithstanding, is still one great newspaper) can give us many stories of substance. This morning’s A1 story about prisons is one good example. In fact, it would have been helpful for the reporter of this story to team up with Anita Kumar covering the Virginia gubernatorial or attorney general races to look at the issue from the Commonwealth’s perspective, especially as it seems to not be following the progressive direction of many state prison systems.
Instead of wasting newspaper real estate on something few people care about and offers no news of substance, why not pick an issue, examine it from a voter’s perspective, and write about it. If The Post doesn’t write about things people care about, it shouldn’t be surprising that they’re losing readers.