Sharron Angle’s lousy performance with local media is getting a few yuks in the national media today, but I’m sure that the professionals at the NRSC aren’t laughing, because they understand the media opportunities that she and her soulmate Rand Paul are pissing away.
It probably goes without saying, but running for Senate isn’t the same as running for Sparkly Pony Princess BFF of America. Unlike the national reporters who have nothing to do but breathlessly repeat Palin’s latest tweet or Facebook emission, local reporters are busy reporting real news. Candidates need to work to get noticed, and they need to be available for interviews. There’s even a name that real (i.e., not Paul or Angle’s) political consultants use for getting on the local news: “free media”.
On TV, you can get minutes of free media (versus seconds of paid ads) night after night around election time. In the newspaper, free media gets front-page play that advertisers would kill for. Even a guy as well-funded as Harry Reid will no doubt be appearing all over the local TV and newspapers, because he can answer a simple question about issues listed on his website, and his campaign manager doesn’t call reporters “idiot” after an interview.
The kind of people who vote watch the local news. Staying on Fox and conservative talk radio is such a dead-end strategy that it doesn’t even pass the laugh test. At some point, the pundits who want to pretend that Angle is still a serious threat are going to wake up and figure that out.