As if proof was needed. Here is an excellent Baltimore Sun article documenting how the media rigorously ignores third parties. This is a surprisingly good critique from a Professor of Journalism. (It is not surprising that it comes from someone outside the MSM, but surprising they published it.)
While the news media did an effective job this year of covering the presidential campaign between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, the press still has a major blind spot when it comes to writing about third-party contenders.
According to a basic LexisNexis database search of election coverage from Aug. 5 to Nov. 5, The Washington Post and The New York Times published a combined 3,576 news stories, editorials, op-eds, photographs and letters to the editor about Mr. Obama and 3,205 items about Mr. McCain. By contrast, the two dailies published only 36 items about independent Ralph Nader, 22 about Libertarian Bob Barr, five about Green Cynthia McKinney and three about the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin…
None of these candidates garnered more than 2 percent of the popular vote on Election Day. But how third-party candidates are covered by the news media is an important issue that should be taken more seriously, given that we live in a democratic society that proclaims deference to the First Amendment and honors the notion that we are all better off when a wide range of proposals are aired.
The news media are allowing themselves to be co-opted by the Democrats and Republicans into viewing campaigns solely through the prism of the two-party system. This means that the major parties control which issues are permitted into the debate, thus denying the public a chance to hear proposals that might seem extreme today but could gain traction in the future if only voters had an opportunity to consider them more seriously.