If you thought the media frenzy, voter intimidation and character defamation that characterize today’s elections is a hallmark of these modern times, think again. The Nation‘s Media Fix blogger Greg Mitchell takes us back to the origins of media campaigning with Upton Sinclair’s 1934 bid for California governor. Mitchell, author of The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair’s Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics, says West Virginia Republican Senate-hopeful John Raese’s recent campaign video debacle is just one more example of a long history of candidates manipulating the media for political gains, albeit one that went horribly awry.
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