Might It Be a Sound Bite Thing?

Slate's blog on legal issues.
May 12 2008 2:26 PM

Might It Be a Sound Bite Thing?

I'm disturbed to read an equation of "populism" with a certain ideology . It's a feint that, as Deborah points out, is not empirically entrenched. Indeed, results in this primary election cycle strongly suggest that with the right messenger, the populace is receptive to a very different message than the one here defined as "populist."

Might the matter be simply that the justice under discussion is known by the media to be "good copy," to offer good sound bites, and so is followed by media more than others? Consider the post above on capital punishment. Important message, from another justice. But only one reporter attended the public event. And when her newspaper put the item on its Web site, it chose to offer an audio download not of the remarks about the death penalty but rather a laugh-drawing recollection about baseball-antitrust hearings. More "populism"?

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