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Burriss on Media: Gingrich

Dr. Larry Burriss

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.  --  At the moment former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich appears to be leading other republican presidential contenders in the polls. I say “for the moment,” because by the time I finish writing these comments someone else may very well be the front runner.

A couple of my friends have noticed, with some chagrin, that everyone, including the media, seems to delight in attacking the front runners. The Japanese have a phrase for this sort of behavior: the nail that sticks up is the one that gets hammered down.

What some people don’t seem to realize is that front –runner is the very person we need to know the most about, particularly if the person has something to hide. After all, the front-runner is the person most in position to become the president. And having enough information to make an informed decision is how democracy is supposed to work.

Sure, some of the information is pointless and silly, but that’s the price we have to pay for having access to as much detail as possible about a person’s life and decision-making processes.

The point is, the front-runner is the person who is going to be most attacked, both by opponents and the media. After all, who do conservative commentators complain about the most? It sure isn’t the junior democratic representative from a non-swing state. It’s the leading democrat, who happens to be the president.

And we need to remember that it isn’t just reporters who allegedly go after the leading contenders. Just look at the debates, and who gets attacked the most; it’s the front-runner. After all, if the front-runner can be knocked out of the race, that leaves fewer and fewer people you have to contend with.

I’m reminded of a story I heard about two friends walking in the woods, and suddenly a bear starts chasing them. One friend says, “Do you think we can outrun the bear?” The other friend says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you.”

I’m Larry Burriss.