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We present a model in which the media endorses the character of o¢ ce-seeking candidates as a means to promote its own ideological agenda. In equilibrium, political parties completely pander to the elite-controlled media under moderate ideological con ‡ict between voters and the elite. Larger ideological con ‡ict leads to stochastic polarization-parties either adopt the role of media darlings or run highly populist campaigns. The analysis yields three critical welfare results: (a) delegation ofdoi:10.1257/mic.20140241 fatcat:bi6lsyffdreknhdemqlvolbe3a