I read the New York Times headlines every morning on my trusty New York Times app. When my barely-open eyes are able to focus, I link over to read the ones that grab me. Two very important headlines did just that, one about Hispanics, and one about the national "news" media:
Let's take them one at a time, starting with local journalists leaving beltway reporters in the dust with their mouths hanging open and their eyes popping out:
All politics is local, which may explain why The Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Chesterfield Observer both took David Brat’s Tea Party challenge to Mr. Cantor seriously [...] Congressional races are a mess to cover because there are so many of them... The math of covering someone who may become one of only 100 senators is far easier. [...]
No one wants to stray from the white-hot center of power for fear of being stuck in some forsaken locale when something big happens in Washington — which is why it has become one of the most overcovered places on earth.
That Beltway provincialism is now multiplied by the diminution of nonnational newspapers. The industry as a whole is about half as big as it was in 2007, with regional newspapers suffering acute cutbacks. [...] Plenty of reporters are imprisoned in cubes in Washington, but stretched news organizations aren’t eager to spend money on planes, rental cars and hotel rooms so that employees can bring back reports from the hustings. While the Internet has been a boon to modern reporting ... it tends to pin journalists at their desks.[...]
The quants took a beating on this one, partly because journalists are left to read the same partisan surveys and spotty local reporting as Mr. Cantor’s campaign staff, whose own polling had him up by more than 30 points.
That made MY eyes pop out. Well, actually, it didn't. It did, however, reinforce what I already knew about news coverage, and that's pretty frustrating. So what it really did is made me do this:
On to Hispanics, another frustrating report, because it examines why they don't make it to the polls, what's preventing them, and how change is inevitable. Fortunately, this piece has a happier ending:
One reason is that no demographic group is more marginalized in American elections than Hispanics. Many are ineligible to vote, while those who can vote often do not or are concentrated in noncompetitive districts and states. [...]
The explanation for the gap starts with the most basic rules of voter eligibility. [...] Eligible Hispanics are also less likely to vote than other Americans. A big part of the reason is demographic: Hispanics are younger than other Americans, and voters of all racial and ethnic backgrounds become significantly more likely to vote as they age. [...]
The power of Hispanic voters is further diluted by geography... Finally, Hispanic voters are concentrated in noncompetitive states and districts, diminishing their role in the most important races.[...]
Hispanics are earning more clout in presidential elections. It is in those elections, not in the fight for Congress, where Hispanics could ultimately force the hand of Republicans.[...] In time, the political underrepresentation of Hispanics will end. The Hispanic share of the electorate will steadily increase... But for now, Hispanic voters will struggle to get their voices heard.
Please link over and read the parts I left out. These are two very important articles that answer a few questions, pose a few more, and explain why so many of our heads are exploding on a daily basis.