Will Media Let Ron Johnson Get Away With Campaign of Pure Evasion? | WisCommunity

Will Media Let Ron Johnson Get Away With Campaign of Pure Evasion?

Tonight, Ron Johnson will continue his by not debating Russ Feingold. And like the vast majority of Wisconsin voters, his does not seem to be very happy about it:

I will be able to look Russ Feingold in the eye and hear his answer to those questions Monday afternoon when he visits The Northwestern's editorial board. Can't say the same for Johnson. His campaign turned down a request for a meeting with the board along with an invitation to debate Feingold at the Grand Opera House.

It's not a phenomenon unique to this newspaper. Johnson's campaign has been careful to keep him under tight wraps, limiting his availability, not releasing his schedule until the last moment, leaving news organizations scrambling to cover events. Most recently, he rejected an interview with Wisconsin Public Television's "Here and Now," which offers thoughtful, if a bit dry, reporting on issues. Fewer interviews, fewer chances for a sunspot or creative destruction gaffe that could endanger the slight lead in the polls.

Democracy won't suffer if Wisconsinites think long and hard, examine and re-examine the case for and against both candidates, and ultimately decide to retire Russ Feingold. Problem is, voters are not being allowed to see beyond the plastic packaging of Ron Johnson.

It is easy to see why Johnson wants to limit his campaign communications for the last two weeks to a barrage of advertising. Like his extremist tea party bretheren in state after state, he seemingly can't get through an interview without putting his foot in his mouth and saying things like

Or blaming his toenail fungus on .

It is harder to see why reporters are letting him get away with it. Good for James Fitzhenry and the editorial staff at the Northwestern in Oshkosh for standing up for democracy and against a cynical campaign of evasion -- one that , and who says that if elected he would be :

Indeed, Johnson and Anderson are already talking about what kind of senator he would be. Anderson presented the two options: legislator or messenger. “I will be a messenger,” he says, pointing to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) as a kind of guiding star in the Senate.

There are now two weeks until election day. Will others follow? Or will they allow Johnson to buy a Senate seat with his millions while refusing to give substantive answers to any of the bitterly serious issues this election should be focused on.

Will the media finally start to ask: ?


October 18, 2010 - 4:36pm