There’s nothing more frustrating to a reporter than having to
repeatedly call a source to get a quote, a confirmation, a denial or a
statement. But hey — such is the business of reporting the news; I
could be dodging bullets in Kosovo I guess.
More aggravating, however, is trying to get ahold of a political
candidate who, in the past, has practically begged for “equal
time” in the national spotlight. With WorldNetDaily readership
numbering several hundred thousand a day, with our excellent and
generous contacts in the talk radio and Internet news community, and our
penchant for having our stories widely disseminated, you’d think a
candidate who had trouble getting access would jump at the chance to be
quoted in our paper. Most do; some don’t.
Patrick J. Buchanan is apparently one who does not. At a minimum, his
press chief, Neil Bernstein, doesn’t think his boss needs coverage.
About the best I got was the campaign to acknowledge the proper spelling
I spent the better part of last week assembling quotes from various
presidential candidates, political groups and analysts soliciting
responses to Sen. Bill Bradley’s assertion that a former communist
dictator, Mikhail Gorbachev, possessed a leadership quality Bradley
I got quotes from a number of people, including the Democratic National
Committee and Vice President Al Gore’s campaign.
I even got a quote from the Southern National Committee
because, obviously, they understand the
importance of remaining in the public’s view.
But none from the Buchanan campaign.
Does Pat realize the importance of this “oversight?” Again, you’d
think so — but obviously his press agents don’t. Too bad — he’ll not
win a single presidential election without coverage.
And this was an issue tailor-made for him. To think that a current
candidate for the U.S. presidency would admire a butcher and a charlatan
like Gorbachev for any reason is abominable. But to be somebody
like Buchanan — running for president a third time and struggling to
popularize his “America First” platform — his failure to capitalize on
Bradley’s comments is indeed a mega-blown opportunity.
I expected the tepid responses I got from Gore’s campaign and the
DNC. I expected the Bush campaign to blow off the issue like they did.
I was uncertain about the Forbes campaign, but, honestly, I didn’t
expect Buchanan to blow this off. He did — or, at least, his staff
Let me qualify all of this by saying that regardless of whether or
not the Buchanan campaign receives an inquiry from WorldNetDaily or the
Los Angeles Times, they have every right to “blow off” reporters.
Buchanan is his own man; he doesn’t have to respond to my questions or
the questions of other reporters.
But his campaign shrugs off what could have turned out to be
favorable press at their own risk, considering it gets so much negative
I don’t know Mr. Bernstein personally, nor do I purport to understand
his reasoning for failing to return my six phone calls and one e-mail
request. But considering the evidence and weighing the opportunity,
I can only conclude there is a high degree of incompetence at work here.
Would Gore or Bradley turn away the New York Times or the Washington
Post? Would Forbes turn down a request to be interviewed about
something — anything- — by the Wall Street Journal? Would
Donald Trump ignore CNN?
Do you see where I’m going with this, Mr. Buchanan? Mr. Bernstein?
The point is, there are a fair number of Buchanan supporters — and
lots more who want to know why they should vote for him instead
of the other probable candidates — that are loyal WND readers. We were
sure they would have welcomed Buchanan’s attempt to separate himself
from the globalism he so despises.
But that didn’t happen this time. The reality is there may not be a
Pick up your phone, Mr. Bernstein or, at least, your voluminous phone
messages. We’d love to hear from your candidate.