Political reporters insist that lesser known candidates are ignored because they're not viable - but proceed to cover celebrity billionaires as if they are
In presidential contests, the American public is actually more sober-minded and cautious than you'd think observing election coverage. The average voter isn't particularly well-informed. But he shows a certain savvy in his aversions. Take the occasional "rich guy" candidates who seek high office. It doesn't matter how much money a Ross Perot or Steve Forbes lavishes on his campaign. It won't buy him the election, or even come close. Whatever you think of those men in particular, skepticism of billionaires who buy up lots of media time with personal wealth is a healthy democratic impulse.
But the press treats celebrity billionaires like viable candidates, all evidence to the contrary, acting as if the American public hasn't repeatedly expressed this aversion in past races. Look at Donald Trump. Yes, he's a national joke, but he's been given a lot more attention as a contender for the presidency than a lot of folks who've served multiple terms in the Senate or a statehouse.
And the American people would never elect him!
I've noted before that I wish Gary Johnson, a successful former governor from New Mexico, would garner more press attention. It seems to me that he'd be a far better standard bearer for the Tea Party than a lot of other contenders vying for that role, and personally I'd welcome it if one of his signature issues - pushing for an end to the ruinous war on drugs - received more attention. Sometimes I'll even ask other political journalists, "Why don't you cover guys like him more?"