In the debates, Richardson and others of his ilk (Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, etc.) are shunned, as the key policy questions are aimed at Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. Funny, since Richardson, Biden and Dodd are seasoned political veterans who have more experience in most fields individually than the "Big 3" have combined.
The media plays such a major role in elections and candidate visibility that anything less than ostensibly balanced coverage does a massive disservice to the American people--they are kept in the dark as the most qualified candidates go uncovered. Without decent attention, the race is essentially narrowed down to three candidates before the primaries even begin, since in the court of public opinion, only the three front runners, and a few "other" candidates exist. Richardson who?
But don't take my word for it: read this article by Brent Budowsky for the Huffington Post. He explains our displeasure.