Dream the impossible dream
Check out a new blog by local political gadfly Mark Rauterkus, who ran a quixotic campaign in 2001 for the Republican nomination for Pittsburgh mayor. He lost the right to be the GOP's quadrennial sacrificial lamb to Carlow College Professor James Carmine. Rauterkus was as unsuccessful in attracting the attention of the media as he was in attracting the support of the city's five Republican voters. Reporters would pray that they would
be away from their desks when Rauterkus called, begging for coverage, and they would delete his emails as quickly as if they were Nigerian spam scams.
The bottom line is that the media just sees little reason to pay attention to Republican candidates for office in Pittsburgh, given the Democrats' seven-decade stranglehold on city politics. Rauterkus has gotten more ink as a crusader for the city's shuttered pools and recreation centers than he ever got running for mayor.
I was working for the Trib when Rauterkus ran for mayor, and I encountered him once or twice while I covered the Pittsburgh Public Schools. I, too, was dismissive of his mayoral campaign, and found the guy a bit goofy, but the media's treatment of his campaign--and Carmine's for that matter--is instructive. The media, rather than challenging the status quo, often reinforce it by giving voice only to those who have power.