If you’re searching for another example of the disconnect between the press and the public, look no further than the recent “idiot” dustup emanating — unofficially, of course — from Sharron Angle’s campaign for U.S. Senate.
When KLAS TV-8 reporter Nathan Baca attempted to get Angle to elaborate on her call for “transitioning out” of Social Security (she favors setting up private retirement accounts), he got what other reporters have received from the Republican: the brush off.
When someone, reportedly a campaign spokesperson, later called the reporter an “idiot” and something saltier, the remark made TV 8’s broadcast. (Angle’s campaign denies the statement was made by anyone associated with it.)
And the brushfire was lighted.
Days later reporters and bloggers are still clucking over the use of the word “idiot” to describe the TV reporter. And now I find myself chewing on the topic.
A couple thoughts.
First, I am sure Baca won’t need psychotherapy to recover from being called a bad name. He may find solace in the fact that being called an idiot has given him national exposure.
Second, this is one of those subjects the press seems to care a lot about. The public, meanwhile, glazes over. Angle hasn’t lost anything with her supporters, but here’s her challenge: Creating the appearance of accessibility until she gets comfortable enough to banter with reporters. The questions won’t go away. Frankly, I think someone has done her a disservice by attempting to keep her under wraps.
It raises the real question: Not whether she wants to privatize Social Security accounts. She does.
And it’s not whether one of her campaign loyalists popped off about a reporter. Who cares?
The question is whether Sharron Angle is ready for prime time as a candidate.