Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gosar backs out of today's TV debate

It's no surprise that Mr Gosar ducked another debate. It seems to be a theme for the extremists this cycle. What's surprising is that if I'm reading correctly between the lines here, the Courier is genuinely miffed about it.

It could have been a simple three-line item stating that the candidate had canceled the event, but Joanna's story on the withdrawal of the millionaire tax-dodging dentist from a high-profile debate on KAET at the last minute includes a fair amount of "context" that's just short of snarky. The subtext accuses the candidate of hypocrisy and disdain for the press.

Many of these radical-right candidates clearly decided early on to follow the Palin strategy of playing for home-court advantage, counting on the idea that voters are so angry with the Dems that they don't need to do anything to win but stay out of trouble. I have hope that once the ballots are counted this will prove less successful than they imagine.

But it's amusing that the Courier is taking umbrage at this point. Just look at the smug smirk on Gosar's official campaign photo. These candidates have been thumbing their noses at responsible public dialogue from the beginning, and the paper should have been on that long ago. Having given them a free pass for months, getting irritated about it now, with voting already under way, just looks self-centered and petty.

If the editors are genuinely surprised that the candidate is giving them and the voters the finger, it would be more on point to say so bluntly in an editorial than to waste ink on subtle implications in the news pages.

Maybe the editors fear damaging their cozy relationship with the Republican establishment. If that's the case, someone has to tell them that the rules have changed, and now if you're not a shameless and open booster of the TeaBirchers, you're their enemy.

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