Fisher’s Potts Portrait Panned

Washington Post

columnist Marc Fisher apparently was deluged with anti-Russ Potts comments prior to his online chat today. Fisher had written a piece on Tuesday that crossed the line from opinion journalism to hagiography.

This question and response went to the heart of media’s role:

Saltville, Va.: Why don’t you just admit upfront that Russ Potts makes good copy and that you aren’t going to disturb this endless trove of sound bytes by looking too closely at the man’s flip-flops, his motivation, or the depth of his positions?

Marc Fisher: Potts certainly wins something of a bye because he is crusty, outspoken, fun and has little chance of winning. So if his function is to keep the other candidates’ feet to the fire on issues they’d rather not address, then, yes, he is likely to win less scrutiny than Kilgore and Kaine will get. But if he starts showing himself to be a real contender, then he’d get the same sort of close and vigorous coverage that the Dem and the Repo will get.

Now we know–unless you might win, you get a pass if you’re a “media darling.”

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Hmmm… I don’t seem to remember that same treatment with other candidates. Particularly Alan Keyes comes to mind. They usually just ignore him. Maybe the press thought he was a viable candidate after all?

    Th real answer… The more they can prop-up Potts in the eyes of ill-informed moderate Republicans, the more chance he can take votes from Kilgore.

  2. Norman Avatar

    When he finally got around to answering a few of those questions on Potts, he back-peddled like his life depended on it.

  3. Steven Avatar

    Marc Fisher wrote: “Last year, Potts made a cold call to Lowell Weicker, the Republican who won the Connecticut governor’s job as an independent, and got the lowdown on making an outsider bid.”

    I usually enjoy Fisher’s column.

    But COLD CALL! Wrong Mr. Fisher…

    News Flash: The moon is not made of green cheese either.

    Oh yes, it’s Uncle Lowell “Free Wheeling” Weicker who introduced Potts to his campaign manager, Tom D’Amore, a few months ago.

    Or was that his good Alexandria neighbor, Mark Warner, who introduced Weicker and Tom D’Amore to Potts?

    (Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Connecticut anymore. We must be over the Potomac River.)

    The Hartford Courant wrote on Feb. 25, “Warner introduced Potts to Weicker, and Weicker introduced D’Amore to Potts, telling him that Potts was trying to make up his mind about running for governor as a Republican or an independent.”$32296?print-friendly=true

    ~ the blue dog

  4. Jim Bacon Avatar
    Jim Bacon

    So, according to Fisher, Potts’ function is to keep the other candidates’ feet to the fire by asking questions they’d rather not answer? Gee, I didn’t notice that logic being applied to George Fitch — whose ideas are a lot more intellectually coherent than Potts’.

  5. Steven Avatar

    The Blue Dog played email tag with WaPo’s Marc Fisher this evening…

    In a message dated 6/16/2005 11:37:16 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

    “Thanks for the kind words, and for the shots too. The shots are more educational, of course.”

    “Potts will contribute to this race in a big way–helping to set the agenda and holding the big guys’ feet to the fire. Surely you’ve noticed that the two K’s are terrified of the outsider.”

    Blue Dog reply to Fisher: “I’ve chatted with Kilgore’s campaign manager. Hutch says Potts is a joke. The Kaine staff will not comment. Hmm…”

    ~ the blue dog

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