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2024 Presidential Race Has a Media Problem

President Biden recently said he was Vice President under Barack Obama when COVID started. This is false. President Trump spends more time “truthing” in ALL CAPS than he does in the “Ice Box” New York Courtroom. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a worm in his brain which gives him short-term memory loss. These are the three candidates who are dominating the media headlines for the 2024 election.

But, are these men the best candidates America has to offer? Unlikely, but it is what we have because the media and the political establishment have drowned out our ability to have rational people running for political office. It’s time for the media to do better.

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Most outlets pander to their audience which enables confirmation bias (all things we’ve talked about before). Through all the skewed news, there is one cable news outlet that’s been capable of having substantial air time with all three candidates, CNN. Their coverage, however, is laced with criticism:

Mediaite: CNN Called Out For Not Fact-Checking Biden Interview With Erin Burnett

CNN: Analysis: CNN faces harsh criticism after Trump unleashed a firehose of lies during its live town hall

Real Clear Politics: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: CNN Edited Interview So It Looked Like I Said Biden Was More Of A Threat To Democracy Than Trump

In essence, what these articles say is CNN lets major political candidates slide while subsequently chopping up interviews from third-party candidates. Oliver Darcy’s article does note CNN defended itself for letting Trump rampage on about election interference saying, “That is CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.” But letting a candidate repeatedly say the 2020 election was stolen is hardly holding him accountable.

This is why it’s not shocking both the Biden and Trump campaigns agreed upon “The most trusted name in news” to host their first debate. Despite the outlet having less than One Million viewers for their day (462,000) and primetime (601,000) Nielsen ratings in March.

It’s not just the media’s fault, political candidates typically stick with more friendly outlets. The media does try and reach out to opposing candidates (okay, some outlets don’t really try to get opposing politicians and that’s a different story) but very few politicians can handle the pressure from the opposing side.

If a political candidate can not take the heat from so-called “journalists” who are challenging you with the opposing side of an argument, how are you going to handle everyone else in the world (because let’s face it even some of our closest allies aren’t the biggest fans of US).

The media is the 4th estate, which means we have to confront, pester, and question our politicians (even when we agree with them). Very few members of the press do this now and the ones who do are labeled as ‘difficult’ by media outlets and often ignored by politicians.

Aside from the labels, some (but not enough) in the mainstream media aren’t openly recognizing the biggest elephant in room, the age of our politicians. In 2023, Statista reported, the average age of the House of Representatives is 57.9 (this isn’t bad). The average age in the Senate is 64 (not great but I’ll take it). Out of all of these politicians, the best we can do are three guys who are in their 70s and 80s. Whenever Joe Biden stumbles up the stairs or opens his mouth I’m not sure if I’m watching a real-life remake of Weekend at Bernie’s or I’m watching elder abuse.

There are over 330 million people living in the United States. Most voting-age adults did not want to see a Trump/Biden match-up again yet, here we are. Mr. Kennedy likely won’t make the Oval Office. He will, however, take votes away from both Democrat and Republican candidates.

The President should represent the best America has to offer. I’d like to think those who’ve held and run for office have been at their best, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Historically some haven’t been, but at least LBJ and Taft tried.

When the media doesn’t confront, pester, and question our politicians it shows they have given up. It is the media saying these three are the best America has to offer, (a guy who might have Alzheimer’s, another who might be a narcissist, and the third who admits to having a worm in his brain). It’s a travesty. A Democratic Republic (because America is not a Democracy) only works when every power does its job correctly. Ben Franklin said it, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Right now the media is not doing enough due diligence to keep it.

Krystina Alarcon Carroll
Krystina Alarcon Carroll
Krystina Alarcon Carroll is a news media columnist and features writer for Barrett Media. She currently freelances at WPIX in New York, and has previously worked on live, streamed, and syndicated TV programs. Her prior employers have included NY1, Fox News Digital, Law & Crime Network, and Newsmax. You can find Krystina on X (formerly twitter) @KrystinaAlaCarr.

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