Flat-Out Campaigning

This BIGGIB is similar to Big Government Hammer, only it applies to campaigns or specific government policy proposals under consideration - or that a media outlet wishes to see enacted. This includes editorials or commentary, but its more insidiously when it is embodied in subtle, or not-so-subtle, news coverage. It often takes the form of giving more frequent or favorable coverage to Big Government campaigns and proposals - and less or unfavorable coverage to small government campaigns and proposals.

Example 1:

Flat-Out Campaigning BIGGIBS are at play in virtually every election in America where a small government candidate is running. The major media excludes small government candidates from debates and/or gives them less and worse media coverage than their Big Government counterparts. This holds true even when a small government candidate has campaigned hard enough, and has drummed up enough public support, to warrant much more news coverage.

Example 2:

A reporter interviews a small government candidate for governor, who makes clear that her purpose for running is to end the state income tax and to make government small. But the reporter's editor has made it clear that coverage about ending the income tax is not welcome and will get spiked, i.e., not printed. So the reporter writes a story about reconstruction of a highway cloverleaf instead - one that few statewide voters know or care about. He peppers her with questions about her position on this obscure issue, hoping she'll talk. The candidate briefly answers his questions, then quickly goes back to talking about her main issue: ending the income tax. The resultant article includes quotes about her position about the cloverleaf - with no mention of ending the income tax at all. It's the only article his newspaper prints about her campaign during the entire election.

This has the effect of diluting and diminishing her small government, end the income tax, message. It makes the candidate far less memorable since only a small portion of voters in a statewide race will care about that particular cloverleaf.

But they would have remembered that candidate if they were told she is the champion of an end-the-income-tax ballot initiative. They would have been more likely to vote for her if they were given the chance to learn that ending the income tax would cause them to get back $3,000 they are now paying in taxes - every year.

Instead, they are unlikely to even remember the candidate's name. So as far as the readers of this newspaper are concerned, she is not a legitimate candidate for governor.

Major media news outlets use their power to make or break candidates all the time. Candidates who are not popular with the Big Government Media have slim chance of getting many votes - unless they have enormous financial resources to reach voters through paid advertisements and direct contact.