"I've been a big McCain supporter from day one...value hard work and personal responsibility...I believe in smaller government; I believe in the importance of economic liberalism, and a strong national defense." So says Meghan Scheidemann, an 18-year-old freshman at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Of course, a supporter of McCain can parrot whatever empty platitudes and praises of the candidate they want, but why is NPR giving this individual valuable airtime to repeat these slogans on NPR's Sunday Weekend edition?
Supposedly there is something unique and newsworthy about Meghan's situation. Hansen introduces the segment with "It's exciting to be a first time voter. A chance to have your voice heard, your vote counted. But what's it like to be a first time voter when the candidate you support isn't the one receiving most of the attention?" During the report Meghan continues this line, saying "how little media coverage is being given to my candidate."
Actually McCain gets plenty of media attention, most of it fawning and unquestioning - just like Meghan's piece (and like NPR's coverage of McCain - Feb. 29, 2008, March 14, 2008, and April 9, 2008).
I have an idea! Instead of NPR just being an echo chamber for the McCain campaign, it could do some digging on exactly what he did and when during the Savings and Loan scandals, and on his relationships to the telecom corporations. NPR could report on McCain's reactions to the latest torture memos that show all levels of the White House participated in allowing torture - or on his maverick reaction (did nothing) to Bush's despicable signing statement on the "anti-torture law." It would even be worthwhile to do some reporting on what (and who) his units were bombing - and why - during Vietnam when he became such a "war hero." And of course it would be great for NPR to do even a little reporting on the excitement of being a first time voter when your vote is NOT counted.