The primary season opened with a bang. And then a fizzle on this week's on the media. We explore the history of how we pick out presidential candidates and we unpicks take some of the myths surrounding New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation status voters in Dixville Notch will vote at midnight in a picture. Postcard tounge aside the Canadian board riding riding elephants into the hotel. This popsicle seven hundred pound baby elephant is absurd that forty two people just kind of power. I think it's nice. Do I think it's democracy at its purest for weeks and it's just all day every day you're advance and events and events and just driving all over the place candidate talking to their campaign campaign. I mean it was just it's a frenzy you end up verging into a little bit just being part of First in the nation industrial complex wouldn't be surprised if this is the last correal New Hampshire primary. But that's a debate for another day. I guess eighteen for the primaries past present and future from WNYC in New York this is on the media. I'm Bob Garfield and I'm gladstone. Thirty years ago I was. It's teetering on the brink either get a fellowship. That would yield a reporting job in Moscow or I'd be stuck in a job. That was making me miserable. I I just couldn't bear not knowing what the future help. So I threw the coins of the ancient Chinese book of Wisdom and Divvy Nation the edging aging and the result was foreseeably or fake and abstruse. Still I decided the portents were good and I felt better. And I'm I'm not embarrassed. We all do and weirdly. It may feel even better surprisingly soothing. If the magic eight ball says reply. Lie Hazy try again seems to be the lesson of Iowa but skill restrain prophecy. I was here a little after midnight and we got a massive massive change here in Iowa you can see what it looks like you. Just put it up there. Two tenths of one percent. Now separating birdies this number underneath the twenty six point two underneath the twenty six if he can read that five fifteen for Buddha judge any five forty six for the gang at the fivethirtyeight politics podcasts. Off Shoot of the website side of statistical analysis founded by nate silver also brought data to bear. But the answer was still reply. Hazy try again and nobody is doing well literally no chance no one wins. The majority is up to twenty six percent from from seventeen percent beforehand. So the story line going into Iowa was hey. This is a wide open race and something of a mess. Disordered line coming out of Iowa is like this is really wide. Open a huge mess. Zen philosopher Alan Watts once observed that muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone but such patients is too much to expect during election times though the I will caucus is increasingly regarded as unrepresentative representative undemocratic and generally unworthy of the media attention. The generates news producers would probably not be pleased if it went went to way because they'd be forced to reinvent their quadrennial election calendars and abandoned. The Easy Palaver. This is turning into his something with a cliffhanger. Here history tells us that New Hampshire often echoes the results. Out of Iowa. New Hampshire loves to be CONTRARIAN INTERR- and do just just the opposite of what I would does in Hampshire has a terrible record of predicting presidents right only about fifty fifty at predicting the eventual Democratic nominee. I'm going to throw brought some names. Sanders Clinton Kerry Gore Songas Dukakis Heart in January monmouth university poll found that quote from Melissa. Four options a clear majority of Democratic Party voters fifty eight percent said they'd rather have a single national primary where every state would hold its contest on the same day imagine what riches of policy reporting would rush in to fill that gap and right but before we get there we can learn from the past by reviewing. How did we get here? Five thirty eight has produced a pretty comprehensive three part series to answer that question in this clip from the first episode host. Gail drew explains that from the eighteen thirties. Right up one thousand nine hundred sixty eight. The American system for selecting the major party candidates didn't change much. The party establishment held the power back back then. The parties generally used caucuses which were meetings of Party. Insiders who would select delegates to eventually go to the national convention some of the more grievous this examples in the fifties and sixties where the Democratic Party had held some caucuses on trains and they weren't announced until after the training training left a depot. That's Wayne Stagger. Political science professor at Depaul University even after party reformers succeeded in implementing primaries in about a dozen states in the early nineteen hundreds. They didn't directly influence who the nominees would be most of the time in primaries. You had what were called called favourite sons so say a governor or popular senator from the state. They would run in the primary even though they didn't intend to run for president wants one of those favourite sons one estates delegates. He could use that power to wheel and deal on the convention floor. The other use for the primaries was for candidates candidates to show party leaders. They were electable so the most famous story of course is Jack Kennedy in nineteen sixty had to run in several several primaries in order to prove to the party leadership that his Catholicism would not be a problem in the general election you want Amanpour four president who season through and through but not so doggone season that he won't try something new and he had to actually run in a couple apple primaries to prove that then came nineteen sixty eight where all hell broke loose in nineteen sixty eight the Democratic Party. He is deeply divided largely over the war in Vietnam also over the civil rights movement and during this time it becomes clear that there is not a lot of support for renominated incumbent. LBJ So anti war candidate to step forward for example Robert Kennedy and also Eugene McCarthy now a a lot of the reforms that took place as a result of nine hundred sixty eight stem from the state convention in the small state of Connecticut. And what happens. There is a bunch of antiwar activist. I argue that the number of delegates who go to the national convention in support of Senator. Eugene McCarthy should be proportional to the amount of support. There is for Eugene McCarthy in the State of Connecticut. But that's not necessarily the way that things are done back then. The party insiders at the State Convention are really the deciders in terms of who the delegates will be at the national convention and so these antiwar activists walk out and hold a counter convention separately. They a nominate their own candidates to the Democratic convention in one thousand nine hundred sixty eight and they also pushed to change the rules of the Democratic Party and get other Democrats from around the country on board to ensure that the delegates to the national convention are proportionately representative of how much support candidates have each state so fast forward to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in Nineteen Sixty eight conventional. The Democratic Party nominating tonight Hannity or the president's antiwar activists bring their proposed rules to the rules committee and eventually to the convention and floor. What they're proposing is of course that the delegates to the national convention be representative of the Voter's preferences that the voting process either caucuses says or primaries at the state level have to be an open and fair process that delegates have to be more representative of the state's public when it comes to race gender creed need etc and so these are significant reforms? Winning one on one. Half vote for Sounder McCarthy now the antiwar activists lost when it came to try to nominate nate. You Gene McCarthy Vice President Hubert Humphrey is the nominee of the Democratic Party or the presidency of the United States. After he lost the the Democratic Party got together and set out to have state parties in every state in the country. Change how they do the primary process and by nineteen seventy two. There's basically a new primary process in place. What about the Republicans were they? Having Reform Movement at the same time the Democratic Party the ended up changing state laws and once the state laws changed that affected the Republican Party as well. But we didn't see that until the eighties because Republicans were running. Incumbents convents all throughout the seventies Nixon and Ford this new system new standards new laws yielded very new dynamic that propelled not a cabal of fat cats but in entire breadbasket state into a sort of replacement kingmaker. Tell me about the Iowa. Iowa caucuses so after Democrats lose the nineteen sixty eight election they put together a Reform Commission the implements all of these new rules else and one of those roles changes how the parties have to schedule their contests. Primaries or caucuses and Iowa ends up. Moving up it's contest to very early in the year at the time. It's not clear that there are significant consequences significant privileges that go along with being an an early stage in the process however was and he was drawn. Jimmy Carter who was largely unknown in nineteen seventy comedy six realizes that if he gives a lot of attention to Iowa voters mm-hmm because it goes I if he does well they're the media will pay a lot of attention to him giving him a boost in fundraising in the polls giving him momentum going into the subsequent states once Jimmy Carter accomplishes that in nineteen sixty eight. He does well in. The Iowa. Caucuses goes on to win New Hampshire and brides that momentum all the away to the Democratic nomination then the party realizes what a privileged role Iowa has and the subsequent candidates vying for the nomination of both. Party's this includes Reagan in nineteen eighty. Start competing very heavily in Iowa and New Hampshire. Helen Win did the central parties reassert themselves into the process. So after McGovern is nominated and then loses in one thousand nine hundred ninety two and after Carter wins then has a difficult time governing governing and faces a tough primary challenge from Ted Kennedy in one thousand nine hundred eighty. The Democratic Party realizes it has given up a lot of control and it wants it back so it makes them rules. Changes changes most notably implements what are commonly known as super delegates. They used to have the opportunity to vote on the first ballot so they could really weigh on who the nominee would be now. Those rules changed after the twenty sixteen primary and now super delegates can only way in if there is a second second ballot so if on the first ballot somebody wins the nomination. Super delegates are totally irrelevant. They only get to weigh in if there's a contested convention. What has the the Internet done for the Party? Nomination process from the eighties when the Democratic Party creates super delegates up until the two thousands. The party does readings are a lot of control roll over the process. If it likes candidate it can help that candidate win the Iowa Caucus or the New Hampshire primary by giving them endorsements giving them money making making sure that they're out in front of the cameras et Cetera and this is called the party decides theory which was kind of the reigning theory and in academic circles of how the primary process has worked for a couple of decades Howard. Dean shows that there are serious cracks in that theory and that the party has to be unified and able to exert its power on mass otherwise insurgents can take control over the process and in fact Howard. Dean gets a lot of attention by running against against the Democratic Party. Those interesting thing that I've found about Democrats is almost as angry. The Democratic Party is that they are at the republic. He was calling Democrats cockroaches and saying the Democratic Party has basically forgotten about us and he was able to get a lot of attention as a lot of money online and increase is in the polls as a result. A lot of those cracks that start forming in two thousand and four th become visible as the decade progresses into the two thousand teens. What does the election of trump as the Republican party's nominee in two thousand sixteen? Tell us about Let's say another unintended consequence of the primary process one of the complexities of our system. Is that when you have a lot of people running and voters going to the polls in this odd succession. You don't necessarily land on a nominee who is the consensus pick any election. That has more more than two people. Running in it could result in the winter being positively unwanted by the majority and so you have in two thousand sixteen a situation situation where Donald Trump has no party support. He doesn't have the majority of Party voters support yet because he's able to perform well based on his very enthusiastic. Thirty three percent of the Republican Party is winning states and eventually goes on to win the nomination. The Nation now that you don't have people wheeling and dealing on the convention floor you don't have a place in the process for the parties many interests to come together to try to form a compromise. Try to come to a consensus which brings us back to the unintended consequences of supposed democratization of the primary process back in sixty eight. It has created opportunities for populist demagogues it has disenfranchised voters it has vastly increased the influence of big money and it has turned the media coverage into a year long long season of the bachelor. How the hell do we fix that? Well the important thing to keep in mind here is that if the parties he's doing want to change the system if they think it would be better to implement ranked choice voting or have one National Primary Day or reinvigorate the convention in process. They could because this system is not in our constitution. Parties themselves are not in our constitution so the process for finding a nominee is really up to the parties parties themselves. And in this era. Where everybody's talking about big structural change and democratic reform things like abolishing the electoral college or term limits for for Supreme Court justices? This is actually one structural change. That would be pretty easy to implement because the parties themselves can do it caroline. Thank you so much. Thanks a lot. Checkout gallons full primaries project series at five thirty eight DOT COM. Coming coming up on New Hampshire. After thank you all indications are going going on to New Hampshire. This is on the media. This is on the media. I'm Bob Garfield and I'm Brooke Gladstone. Stone every four years caravan of national news. Networks descends on a remote corner of New Hampshire to broadcast the first first results from the first in the nation primary votes cast in our and it's it's really underway. Everyone looking live now. This Dixville Notch New Hampshire after. We're in just two hours tonight. Eastern time residents of this tiny town will do what they do every four years. What appears on the TV screen? Unusually looks like a slice of small town. USA voters in Dixville Notch will vote at midnight in a picture. Postcard town just shy. The Canadian border small. quaint towns in New Hampshire is really a page out of Norman Rockwell Book. It's just it's amazing. How engaged people are is a picture? Perfect Image of Participatory Participatory Democracy. And another early bellwether to appease insatiable outlets and anxious audiences Dixville once drew in the entire world in this bill to Dixville. Niger's in the New Hampshire hamlet of Dixville Notch receive ballot papers ready to cast the first election take votes in the president. What the story of midnight voting first in the nation Dixville Notch is profoundly misleading? It is not now nor has has it ever been what it seemed to be for the real story. We turn to our friends at New Hampshire public radio who have been reporting on the first in the nation primary in their podcast series. Stranglehold Co host. Jack Road Lieko takes from here. I think we're GONNA see around this band here. Casey McDermott German is one of our colleagues here at NIH PR and last winter. She drove me to see Dixville Notch in person. She drove US twenty five miles from the Canadian boarder. The first thing you notice is there is no quaint little town. There's no stop light. No townhall just one very striking building ending tucked into the middle of mountain range. Like it's like a grand resort even from this distance it's clear that resort is empty. WHOA that building leading does not look good? It's obvious this place has been closed for years. For one hundred years the balsams resort was a playground for the rich and the story of how the police became a media. Obsession that all starts with one man. Neil tell it's I think of him as kind kind of like New Hampshire's forrest gump and that. His story just intersects with history and all kinds of really interesting ways over the literal all century that he was alive he was born in eighteen ninety eight and he died in two thousand one and in that time he met a lot of amazing people had the honor of meeting. It was like one hundred and three at the time. And I said that's the voice of New Hampshire Primary winner the late Senator John McCain the Mr Tillerson. Who is your favorite of all these candidates that you met and he said my favorite was Mr Roosevelt and I should Franklin Roosevelt was really irreverent? I Know Theodore Roosevelt. So Neil Tillotson drops out of high school leaves Home Lindsey gig rubber manufacturer. He enlists in the army. armie pursues Poncho via and his men under the command of General John. J. pershing he returns to. The rubber manufacturer becomes a researcher. There Tillotson didn't have much formal education. But he's a natural in the lab inquisitive creative real problem solver. He even has a lab at home where he tinkers tinkers with stuff in his off time one of his favourite items to work with is latex. And it's here in his home laboratory where Tillotson hits gold in nineteen nineteen thirty one in the midst of the Great Depression. Tillotson dips some cardboard into the liquid rubber and successfully makes the world's first novelty not balloon a cat balloon to be precise it was shaped like a cat's face little ears and all turns out a lot of people were willing to buy these things that Tillotson rubber the company was born Tilton. Rubber invents the world's first latex exam gloves manufacturing expands toilets and fortune grows a lot and halfway through Tillerson's life when he was a very rich man he had one of those forrest. Gump moments not not far from where he'd grown up in Vermont. A piece of property went for sale in New Hampshire. It really caught his eye. It was the balsams resort tucked into that beautiful valley in the mountains tunes when Tillerson bought the balsams Dixville Notch was. What's called in organized place that means if people there wanted to vote they had to drive to another town just to cast a ballot? Tillotson changed that when he established the midnight voting tradition in watching news coverage. Today you might get get the impression that Dixville is the place this midnight. Voting tradition was born. But that's not the case. I found new stories talking about this happening. In Massachusetts an Alabama. The morning story on election day might list vote tallies from a handful of towns all over the country some had voted midnight others. It may be three in the morning. It was the Philippines while the country waited for the final results but for the press there was kind of a hassle to scramble to collect the results overnight. It would have been so much easier if just one town voted at midnight. Neil Tillotson and this reporter for a wire service basically came up with the idea that if Dixville expelled dead it's vote at midnight. This reporter would make sure that their results were the ones that were broadcast to the rest of the world. As being first in the nation journalism in the nineteen fifties ran on telephones pictures were sent from the field to newsrooms by phone lines and the balsams resort had its own telephone company. That's on power plant and space for teams of reporters to set up shop. What a nice little story to share with your readers while you were sleeping last night? This little town in New Hampshire stayed up late. Just vote I. These people really take democracy seriously and it was a story that required readers. It's not to ask too many questions about this perfect little democracy that folks in town moderator and a bow tie he was actually a millionaire although townie only smiling after they voted a lot of them were his employees during the next presidential election to ensure that Dixville Notch really voted first Tillotson tune made sure. His town voted at midnight. In the primary months before the general election it was kind of off to the races like by the time. The nineteen sixty four. Your Primary Dixville was on the map as the face of the New Hampshire primary a while since I looked at these pictures. They're they're not. They're not arranged in chronological this. Is Tom Tillotson. Neil Tillotson son one of the only residents left in Dixville Notch and he showed showed us this wall of pictures. They're kind of like part family photo album part history textbook. That's my dad. Talking to Reagan. He came back for the bill. Clinton came to Dixville Notch both bushes each election cycle. It was like the circus came to town. He brought in An elephant into the hotel this popsicle seven hundred pound baby elephant Mitt. Romney's father George Romney when he ran for President President in one thousand nine hundred sixty eight. He kicked off his campaign by Schlepping. A baby elephant to a town New Hampshire with about ten voters was a local fellow who was a Democrat and he was trying to smuggle a donkey into the ballroom and they shut the elevator. Off with him in the documented. It's been a while since Dixville Notch was a must stop for presidential candidates in the New Hampshire primary campaigns. Mostly ignore it now but the press keeps keeps showing up to tell the same story about the little town that votes and when they do they usually miss the real story of what life has been like up there. After Neil Tillotson died the BALSAMS resort changed hands a few times. It closed its doors in two thousand and eleven. Casey wanted to talk to people who knew the place in its heyday. So she wound up on the doorstep of rate Gorman. She met him read as he was trying to get his dog. WHO's blind back in the house? Thirty the over here there'll come on dad. Rain Gorman was the longtime had of security and basically in keeping the place running miscellaneous I used to call myself sometimes at the hotel. I was a personal lot. People go to the needed something. I needed a ball. They needed this thirty two that it was his job to do well anything and everything that was needed especially for the press. Ray was the one who made sure the cables were run. Maidanshahr the nosy reporters who were trying to spy in the ballot room. He made sure that they couldn't get in there. Her just tripping over records that was always a big fan and that's like the insurance company does not want to hear about that to project. The image that the media expected of this perfect little democracy. I see where everyone votes. Ray Gorman was given some assignments that were very miscellaneous like fetching someone who did not show up to vote vote. I want picked him. Up once drunkenness. Naked sitting here going down tonight. I don't get what you don't see missing. cing voter would be a really big deal for the media's story legally if your town votes at midnight in New Hampshire you can't close the polls until every every voter is accounted for that means the shows dramatic conclusion the vote. Tally couldn't be announced if someone was missing his naked did with him up dressed him up. Loaded them into van off. The national media comes into capture the image of free free elections and civic engagement but they rarely acknowledged that it all started for the convenience of the press and we are certainly not the first people people to notice that on the West Wing in this scene. It's the night before the New Hampshire Primary Deputy White White House Chief of Staff Josh Lyman and press secretary. Cj Clegg are closely watching a little town in New Hampshire. That's going to vote at midnight. It is absurd the forty two people at this kind of power. I think it's nice. Do I think it's democracy at its purest unsurprisingly. It's the press secretary that comes to the town's defense. This is the difference between you and me. You're a sap. Those forty two people are teaching US something about ourselves that freedom is the glory of God. Awed that democracy is it's birthright and that our vote matters. You getting the pizza. Yeah should call it. What Dixville Notch symbolized came to kind of outweigh what Dixville Notch actually was remember the trump voter fraud commission around? Then Casey had this question running around in her head. Does voter. Fraud ever actually happened here in New Hampshire so she got a stack of files from the Attorney General's office there. Was this case in this town in this case in that town and then I come across a few cases in Dixville Notch and I ended up finding out that ah the state had actually launched a full-scale investigation during the twenty sixteen general election. The office got a tip from someone. Who'd who'd seen a TV segment about the vote in Dixville Notch the tipster who was watching recognized one of those voters and she thought he doesn't live in Dixville Notch Chasing Dixville Notch keeping their tradition of one hundred percent? I mean the obvious problem here. Is that if you don't live somewhere you're not allowed to vote there. Basically the state had questions about almost every single voter who cast a ballot in Dixville in two thousand sixteen. One voter has not had a home in Dixville for decades but he just felt so strongly that he wanted to continue voting in Dixville that he did legally resident here he has other residences in other parts of the state. And then as well as actually on Martha's earth as vineyard he would drive all the way up to Dixville to vote in the elections but would go to bed brushes teeth go home somewhere else else. Nine voters not a lot of chance of voter fraud. Carl Cameron we will stay on it and stay on you in. Casey says the way that quote voter fraud usually replays out. In American elections is the way it did in Dixville this really about confusion as someone who covers voting laws. There is a lot of genuine gray a area. Where do you get to actually call your home? For voting purposes ultimately the state did not charge anyone in Dixville Notch with wrongful voting thing but associate attorney general and Edwards did say that most of the people who voted there in two thousand sixteen should voted somewhere else like is there any concern unlike the AG's office might end up ruining the midnight voting if the tradition needs to end because Dixville doesn't isn't happening off registered voters to be able to vote than sadly the tradition will end. But the Attorney General's Office's responsibility is to enforce the election laws in twenty nine thousand nine and hp are aired Casey's reporting on the election inconsistencies in Dixville Notch. Her story went up on a facebook. Page for a town called hauled millfield. Let me just read this aloud to things you should know about millfield one. It's right next door to Dixville Notch and to remember how we said back in nineteen sixty Dixville pushed other towns midnight voting traditions out of the media spotlight will millfield was one of those towns. It voted at midnight tonight before Dixville did. Here's what the facebook Page said. In millfield any observer can see that we pay careful attention to details in ensuring that our elections are conducted conducted in a strictly lawful manner. First and foremost we have residents. Who are indisputably mills field citizen shade? Really you go and Millfield. Citizens are duly elected. Each march to the post goes on to list all kinds of ways that mills's field follows each and every election law for for any questions about mills fields midnight voting traditions. Please contact Wayne are so via email at dot com and this is all Wayne. WHO's writing this? So Wayne has got a chip on his shoulder about Dixville yet. Casey drove up two meals field and Wayne introduced her to a couple other voters there Sonia. A and Charley Sheldon who owned a BNB called a peace of heaven. This is Charlie Millfield has about twenty. You're so residents and almost all of them are voting age. It's a community where people live fulltime there being sort of diplomatic about the town next door with all its voting problems and then she said one thing that got a big reaction. Casey mentioned the report and how there was a question hanging over almost most everyone who voted in Dixville in two thousand sixteen if the hotel is not being heated if the hotel has no running water no sanitation MM facilities. How can anyone be living there? It it doesn't make sense before Casey drove all the way up to mills field. There was one other thing thing she found in her research. Something about the history of mills fields midnight vote and how far back it went. Nineteen thirty six. And the says New Hampshire town is first in the nation to vote Millfield. AC brought those articles to mills field and read one to the voters there. It was the first time time in history that the American public has been able to read any election returns in the morning. Newspapers of election day midnight voting was invented in Millfield and when she got done reading the article allowed. Casey realized the people there in Millfield they didn't know it and this little competitive Adib edged crept into their voices. We were truly first. Dixville Notch cannot deny that now just cannot deny it not only was Dixville trying to hold on to their tradition but the press they were willing accomplices and one one more thing the person we most associate with midnight voting is Neil Tillotson but in the oldest Article Casey could find the story gave all the credit it for dreaming up the idea to one person. Genevieve natick when she invented midnight voting in nineteen thirty six genevieve genevieve was only twenty seven years old an artist and a pillow maker. Her grandfather had been alive. When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated? The town she lived didn't had no electricity. Plan was a surprise to the press and the world but not to her neighbors. She invited them over for cookies and coffee they. It came to her house in the rain when the clock struck twelve. They all voted together and they made history coming up more from New Hampshire. Public Radio's PODCASTS. Strangle hello this is on the media. This is on the media. I'm Brooke Gladstone. And I'm Bob Garfield in this next story from an HP ours podcast stranglehold co host Lauren. Orange in the state's first in the nation primary affects the local media and the role. Those reporters play in bolstering. The state's the place as number one new Hampshire thinks it's special that the first nation primary gives us this extra relevance or power and maybe a little bit of Vigo that it doesn't usually come along with living in a small state it's why for decades young green reporters would move here. I don't know I just thought that I was like hot in the. Oh Oh am I allowed to swear. Yes that is Sarah Canuk and in case you. Don't recognize her voice or her name. Maybe this will ring a bell for the last year. I've spent every working day trying to figure out where a high school kid was for. So yeah before. She was host of the mega hip. High Caste cereal before she was a producer of this American life. Sarah Cain was looking for a job. A Big City newspaper summarily got rejected by paper after paper after paper it was the ninety s and she tried to get a Gig at the Baltimore Sun and he said we can't hire you yet. You don't have enough flake daily experienced. But like here's a list of really good smaller papers that you should apply to you and I think the Monitor was on there so I was like okay and I did exactly what he told me to do. And something clicked. Oh right person. The Nation primary. I've got one thing in mind to earn every vote. I possibly can and to win those most important primary of New Hampshire. Today I knew president of the United States at the time local coverage was often the first and only source of information for New Hampshire voters. Think about it. This is two thousand that year for decades before voters weren't scrolling twitter or reading national papers online for campaign coverage the concord monitor had a really loyal readership so local local editors at the Monitor and elsewhere. They really saw themselves as an integral piece of the Primary Complex Alec. Gillis is now an award-winning reporter at PROPUBLICA. In the late ninety s he was another young reporter at the Monitor. It really did regard themselves as kind of guardians of of the process and guardians of the privilege was so drummed into you constantly. It was up to New Hampshire reporters to Informa- the first in the nation voters that could read side by side. Comparisons on issues features on what candidates did before they wanted to be president and they were of course reports from local the town halls and house parties for weeks. It was just all day every day. You were out on your out of Edson events and events events just driving all over the place and talknet candidate talking to their campaign. I mean it was just it's a frenzy and and yeah you felt super are important so the connection between the local press and the voters it also helped build another important relationship the one between the local press and the candidates in the currency that relationship provided was incredible access. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. You'd in his campaign events where you'd have the entire National Press Corps therapist that huge pat coming in from out of town and they would be clamoring to get to talk to the candidate and you as the young local reporter would be sort of secreted away waiting for your half hour alone with him because you're entitled to a level of access that much. Rush Work Sprints national reporters. Were not because in that period your readers. Your viewers mattered more to the campaign than whoever was reading The Washington Post. I would bet that every former New Hampshire political reporter has some sort of story like this a moment. Where you the New Hampshire reporter were chosen chosen ahead of or instead of national reporters? You mattered more. Your news outlet mattered. More because your readers. The New Hampshire voters mattered more. The point of the interview was to give readers. A sense of who this candidate was but it was also very cool for the reporter the stories that would come from those interviews. They could influence the campaign make national news and they definitely help you get your next job. I had clips about George Bush in my backyard. You you know what I mean who had just been elected president state so like I mean I I feel like the the primary ended and I sent out my resume. This is the part in the story of the media and the primary. We're things begin to get a little sticky. You end up version until a little bit just being part of the kind of first in the nation industrial complex. Let me give you a quick example. Sarah Remember Story. She did at the Monitor about Michigan. About how they. We're trying to kick New Hampshire out of the first in the nation spot. So Secretary of state. Bill Gardner was involved. The so called guardian of the primary for the last four decades and Sarah wrote a story about him and how he was trying to keep Michigan from stealing the primary my stance was like go. Bill Garner you know what I mean like. He's our guy. I'm sure I brought up. I in the stories. I was like expressing Michigan's position. But I wasn't really interrogating hours sometimes reporting on the primary can turn into defending the primary at the Democratic convention. Will you support. New Hampshire's continued first in the nation. Good Primary Man I tell you what is this is the quid pro quo. That I'm asking you for right now I. I don't crow quit or pro in two thousand when Sarah Arcane and Alec mcgillis were on the beat. The Monitor wasn't the only game in town. There would be you know the statewide news outlets the union leader to some degree. NHPRC WMU argued also have local papers regional papers of papers like fosters. This is my colleague Josh. Rogers he's been covering politics in New Hampshire for nearly two the decades different papers cover things with different intensity but the bottom line is there was more than New Hampshire. Primary is seen as a good thing a public public service that we provide for the rest of the country and somewhere along. The line New Hampshire journalists started seeing themselves as participants in that thing instead of neutral troll observers and that can shape reporting on the primary in subtle and not so subtle ways. We've done boost resounding stories here at HP are like this one one from two thousand sixteen celebrating the importance of the quote Humble House Party. Why is it that? In an era of big data big money politics candidates still see value. Oh you in these smaller more informal gatherings you do in New Hampshire still pick up votes. We also did a profile of Gardner that year. That barely questioned him. But then there's is this when it came to protecting the presidential primary. I was a biased reporter. I will own that proudly I was vice reporter. Scott that's prattling was. WMU Ours Political Director for twelve years. And wer or channel. Nine is New Hampshire's only statewide television news station John McCain's plan and is one step at a towel. Disclosure interned and freelance. They're in college. Now New Hampshire voters can get Boston stations to but when it comes to the primary. WER RAISE CAIN MITT. Romney introduced himself to concord retirees by the report from the campaign trail the air lots of interviews with candidates. They often invite voters to join them for those conversations stations and they co host national debate. So they do a lot good morning. And welcome to close up New Hampshire for the next two and when Scott straddling started a wer he says at first. I tried to just sort of be filter for what I was hearing and then reflected back so that people can make their own fell in love. Well yeah I mean the primary Gosh she such a lovely mistress before the two thousand election he was assigned to go down to Delaware. They wanted an early primary to and the Guardians Guardians of the New Hampshire primary till candidates. If you campaign in Delaware you will feel the wrath of the New Hampshire voter and how were the voters GonNa find out Scott's prattling minute minute director sent me five six hour south to go camp out in Delaware and wait for a Gotcha moment the whole thing was supposed to be catched. The Guy in the act. Show the people of of New Hampshire that he's running around with somebody else. Turns out didn't work out. He didn't get the story. But that's not the point. The point is for Scott Spratling. Protecting the New Hampshire primary. Mary was part of the GIG and he says that's true of Wmu our political directors through today one hundred years after ballots were cast. In New Hampshire's first presidential primary emory. The tradition is under fire again. Despite recognition of its remember the New Hampshire primary is a political institution protected and upheld by powerful powerful people who stand to benefit from its survival and so reporting. That doesn't interrogate that institution. Well it seems to apply a different standard why is it okay to not be objective about the vaccine hamsters. I well I guess because in this particular argument I would say respectfully that the results speak see for themselves. I think that New Hampshire for a number of unique reasons. Scott says New Hampshire is small accessible gives long-shot candidates a chance. He says New Hampshire makes better precedents now. Some of those things are facts. New Hampshire is small. It is easy to get around here. Candidates have campaigned in New Hampshire on a shoestring budget. But whether our voters make better presidents whether we deserve to be I those are opinions. Uh No one who works at. Wer Now would sit for an interview with us. But the station's news director at least McDevitt sent a statement and it reads quote the first in the nation. Asian primary is a big story. Because it's a New Hampshire tradition. These are lines taken out of our broader reporting of the New Hampshire primary. Wer does not take missions. We obviously cover for those. Who Support the New Hampshire primary and their reasons for doing so but that does not mean we take in editorial position and Part of what. We're trying to do here now. is put every piece of the primary under the microscope. Ask The questions that make people here. Uncomfortable and and some people certainly are not pleased with that including local journalists. Like Joe mcquaid editor at large of the New Hampshire Union leader the only statewide newspaper that we've got here. He is recently recently on C.. Span the local public radio station in New Hampshire did a podcast. This year called stranglehold. The whole mcquaid wouldn't do an interview with us for this episode and it's a series so extensively. Well it's about the the New Hampshire presidential primary but it's very negative negative about the primary and I'm wondering all the people in New Hampshire who support and listen to that station. What are they getting for their buck? Now I would argue. What we're doing is not negative but I understand why my colleagues would be mad or at least baffled? The primary has made New Hampshire's local media Important all local media us to its boosted careers helped raise money in the two thousand sixteen election. Wer Sold Twenty eight million dollars in primary. I'm Mary Related. Ads We dangle the primary when we're recruiting reporters to our station we use it as messaging during fund drives and win the election rolls around. We're in in demand in the two thousand twelve election. My colleague Josh Rogers made nearly twenty thousand dollars filing extra stories on the primary for National Public Radio and Josh's got got just as many stories of insane access to candidates as anybody else. Does you know two thousand four. The Howard Dean campaign rented a sports bar in Manchester are invited reporters to hang out. You know I shot pool with Howard Dean like seems kind of proprietors. You can now the access. It's just not the same name why you already know the answer. The Internet social media the way we all consume news. Now the high thresholds being set to get on the debate stage. They don't don't need to build the kind of relationship that they had historically with local media and while getting an endorsement from a paper is something something that any campaign would want. The record reflects that those things may not make a hell of a lot of difference. The Contra Monitor used to be a place candidates look to for that coveted needed endorsement but now editor Ralph Jimenez says that the Monitor doesn't even have enough people to form a proper at theriault board and that's why this year for the first time in decades. They're not gonNA bother endorsing a candidate. This staff is so reduced that on any given day we couldn't get four or five people together other even for a top tier candidate. And if you can't do all of them or most of them at least that's not fair to just do a few and write about them. So we're forced economically to take ourselves out of the game for endorsement purposes. I actually wouldn't be surprised if this is the last real new Hampshire primary but That's debate for another day. I guess it's sobering that the resources of the local paper in Concord New Hampshire had shriveled to the point where where it couldn't even assemble half minion but not because he can't awfully -dorsements that may or may not be relevant but it isn't vital title. It's all the other coverage the local reporting that the Monitor and countless other papers no longer provide the kind that the national media parachuting. ooh never do that. We all should be worrying about. It's just another reason why we're launching a series about the crisis in local news and we want to hear your stories. Do you feel under served or if you're a reporter spread too thin. Do you have specific examples of stories. He's hiding in plain sight for lack of coverage. Please get in touch. Our email is on the media at WNYC DOT ORG and n please in subject line put local news. Big Thank you to the hosts and producers was at New Hampshire public radio who brought us the stories. That's that's it for this week show on the media is produced by Alana. Casanova Burgess Michael low injure lay a fetter John Hanrahan and the Cheddar vetting. We had more help from Anthony. BANSI and our show was edited by Brooke. Our technical director is Jennifer Munson engineers. This week were same bear and Josh Shaw. Rogers is our executive producer on the media is a production of WNYC studios. I'm gladstone and I'm Bob Garfield it on media is supported by the Ford Foundation the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the listeners of W._n._y._C. Radio.