Arkansans joined the nationwide protest movement last year as conservative voters found their collective voice and stood against the Obamanation of our country. From Tea Parties to Health Care Town Halls, these voters calls for responsibility and accountability from their elected officials went largely unheeded. But several candidates for office were paying attention, even when our Representatives and Senators weren’t.
Rick Crawford, GOP candidate for Arkansas’ 1st Congressional district seat in the US House of Representatives was one of these. He’s well known and recognized by 1st district voters who are actively involved in their local Republican Committees or Tea Parties. He’s been working to spread his message since last spring, not only at protests, but local festivals and events across the 1st District.
Crawford appears to have a real shot at becoming the first Republican to represent the 1st Congressional District since 1875. And his campaign is gaining momentum.
But if you were counting on the mainstream media to inform you of Rick’s candidacy, you may not yet know he exists. That’s because television stations and newspapers, statewide and local to the 1st District, have largely ignored his campaign.
Traditional news sources across the state have failed to cover several major developments in what could be an historic campaign. In the past month, Crawford has received three major endorsements from influential Republicans in the state. Mike Huckabee, Ed Bethune, and Asa Hutchinson have thrown their support to this Jonesboro veteran with strong ties to the 1st District’s large agricultural community.
Even the television station from his hometown of Jonesboro doesn’t seem to think his candidacy deserves more than a casual mention every once in a while. Searching their site you’ll see one article devoted to Rick–the August 27, 2009 article on his official announcement that he was entering the race. Those search results do include two articles covering Rep. Marion Berry’s (D) announcement that he won’t seek reelection and Crawford is mentioned almost as an aside in these.
Search results of the archives of the Jonesboro Sun reveal a similar dearth of articles on Crawford’s campaign. The obligatory August announcement that he’s running, then a couple of mentions in articles about Berry. The Sun did mention Crawford in a late January article titled “1st District Race Far from Settled” in late January, but only toward the end and after a long list of potential Democrat contenders.
Arkansas’ statewide newspaper, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, also mentions Crawford in several Berry articles, but nothing devoted entirely to Rick’s campaign. But the Democrat Gazette did consider it newsworthy that Princella Smith, a potential GOP challenger to Crawford, is thinking about throwing her hat in the ring following Berry’s announcement that he won’t run again.
Of the four major television stations in Little Rock, only KTHV 11 has an article on their website about Crawford. That’s an AP article from May of last year announcing Rick’s intent to challenge Berry.
Last May, on the influential conservative blog Redstate.com, Moe Lane speculated “We will no doubt see more [Crawford] campaign-related items as time goes on.” But we haven’t…at least not from traditional media sources.
Luckily, Crawford embraced new media and social networking sites early on. His Facebook page sports over 1300 fans now and almost 800 follow him on Twitter. Many of these supporters depend on the blog posts on his website to keep them informed since the mainstream media refuses to.
Several Facebook fans recently wondered about the lack of coverage by the mainstream media and one even speculated the media’s liberal bias is to blame.
Shelley asked, “Why is it that we aren’t seeing any articles on you in the papers? I keep waiting to see you mentioned and they talk about all the other candidates and you are never mentioned!”
Grace responded, “I agree, I never see anything about you in the papers. What is up with that?”
And Kelly replied, “I think the main reason that the papers around here are not picking up Rick is because they are controlled by a liberal bias. They are afraid to give Rick the time of day because he is the most creditable [sic] threat to eliminate Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda in Washington…”
Whatever the reason, it’s pretty obvious the mainstream media has chosen to ignore Rick Crawford.