BMI’s Gainor Criticizes Media for Coverage of ‘Flash, Not Substance’
In an appearance on the Fox Business Network February 8, Business & Media Institute Vice President Dan Gainor criticized the media's refusal to fully report the costs associated with campaign promises being made by presidential candidates.
"You would actually think the media had talked about how much it's going to cost," Gainor said of the hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending promised by the candidates. "And in fact it's quite the opposite."
Aside from some coverage of Sen. Hillary Clinton's massive universal health care coverage proposal, much of her $217 billion in promises has gone unreported. The same goes for Sen. Barack Obama, who leads all candidates with $287 billion in new proposals, according to estimates from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.
When FBN host David Asman asked if the recently narrowed field would lead to more in-depth coverage, Gainor expressed pessimism. "I wish we would, but I doubt it. When you look at how the networks have covered even the debates ... consistently you have journalists focusing on the horse race and much less on the specific issues."
"The novelty of a couple people asking the occasional economic questions on what amount to specialized sort of wonky programs on Saturday, or Sunday mornings," Gainor said of Sunday shows like NBC's "Meet the Press" and ABC's "This Week," "that's not what the mainstream press are really focusing on. They're focusing far too much on the flash, not the substance."
Gainor called on members of the media to start challenging the candidates on some of their more expensive proposals and promises.