It's unsettling to contemplate that Armao--or any editor--tailored coverage decisions on the assumption that Harris' victory is inevitable. That sort of attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: We're going to give Candidate X more coverage because she's famous; because she's better known, she's more likely to win; since she's more likely to win, we aren't obligated to cover her opposition as thoroughly. The paper's 4,400-word article, which covered 2 1/2 pages, was evidently a personality profile, not an event-driven story. So the paper elected to grant a large amount of fluffy coverage to one candidate for no particular reason other than to captialize on her fame, and denied other candidates similar coverage because the editor considered their victory unlikely. (Armao also derided the Democratic field in her email, and I wonder to what extent that opinion influenced her decision.)
Frankly, I've long had a beef with the sheer lack of information the media often provides about candidates. The media always declines to cover "fringe" candidates on the ground that they have no chance to win--but even so, might not a minor candidate have something to add to the public debate? And when a minor candidate does receive coverage, he or she could be an influential factor in an election (I'm looking at you, Jerry Brown), and so ignoring them can definitely be said to influence the outcome of an election. Even discounting the issue of minor candidates, the notion of dismissing out of hand the other major party is most discomfiting. Heck, I'm from Kentucky, which is one of those states where one party tends to dominate. Everyone knows the Democratic candidate has an advantage. But that doesn't mean Republicans are completely ignored (my friends who still live there might question me on that point, of course). I fondly recall the race between Democrat sleaze Wallace Wilkinson and Republican sleaze John Harper. Harper seemed know he didn't have a chance, but embracing that concept appeared to give him the freedom to say what he pleased, and he enjoyed making Wilkinson's life difficult during the campaign.