Media Criticism, "Celebrity" Candidates, and Covering the Issues

Andrew Yang is a celebrity candidate and the media is adapting to lessons learned from a certain celebrity candidate who became president, argues New York Times media columnist Ben Smith.

Being a media criticism column, Smith approaching Yang's candidate with a eye on what his candidacy means for New York City media, what the role of the local press corp is in shaping public perception, its diminishing power both due to decreased size and the ability of candidates to bypass the press to connect directly to candidates.

Smith notes, correctly, "Mr. Yang’s surprising popularity may also reflect how the city’s establishment left, and its echo chamber on Twitter, are pulling the campaign away from the concerns of some voters, leaving Mr. Yang as the sole candidate speaking to them".

In the next paragraph, Smith asks Yang to address an issue of concern to Smith - media bailouts. "Mr. Yang’s sunny optimism is authentically appealing. Who wouldn’t vote for his vibe? But it can also sometimes feel a little … empty. When I asked him if he had a plan for saving the city’s ailing media, he gamely offered that he supports federal legislation to help the news industry and said he would see whether he could use the city’s own resources to help out."

How many voters care about this issue? Much as the establishment candidates are not speaking to issues of voters, the establishment media (and it does not get more establishment than the NYT) needs to be mindful to choose issues which matter to voters to illustrate candidates qualifications, or lack thereof.