Dino Rossi: A Well-Kept Secret Kept Well With Secret Cash

Hey everyone! There's a new study out that confirms something you already knew: the more sensational a politician, the more headlines they're likely to get. According to research from Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism, Christine O'Donnell was the most covered candidate of 2010, despite the fact that she has almost no chance of winning a Senate seat in Delaware, one of the nation's least-populous states. If it bleeds it leads. But even more so if it once claimed to be a witch.

That the media might become obsessed with a candidate for all the wrong reasons is, again, not going to shock anyone. What is surprising, however, is the contrast between what races the media values and what races were valued by those who actually have money to spend.

In order to find out who got talked about the most, Pew tracked coverage from 52 outlets across five platforms -- broadcast TV, cable news, online news, newspapers and talk radio -- from the beginning of the year until October 31.

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"Say Anything" is not just an iconic '80s movie. It's also a media strategy.

The final tally was unsurprisingly Tea Party-heavy, with O'Donnell, Kentucky's Rand Paul and Nevada's Sharron Angle leading the list. Much further down was Rossi who, with only eight national stories in which he was the featured newsmaker, barely beat out Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who isn't even campaigning this year.

Contrast that relative lack of media attention to the monetary attention Rossi received from anonymous donors -- at more than $4.5 million, his secret cash haul led the nation -- and it's clear: Rossi was only a well-kept secret to those who actually read the news.

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