Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's the media's fault!

Posted By on Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 12:28 PM

I've always found it odd when members of the media blame the collective media for anything, so I'll refrain from that now. I can tell you, however, that last night, about 7 p.m. — a full half hour before local polls closed — I was trying to decide whether or not to watch the election returns or read a book. I thought, Meh, "I'll check in and see what's up before I decide." Within five seconds, a pundit on MSNBC used a sports analogy. That was it for me.

Politics and sports are not the same, and I'm tired of them being compared as if they are.

So, I turned off the tube and opened a book. Instead of torturing myself with the pundit's B.S., I checked in with Twitter and the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections every so often to see how those I voted for were doing. (Most of them, including the Republican I voted for, lost. Yes, I voted for a Republican.)

That was all I needed; I wanted to learn about the election's results, not hear a list of people's opinions about the projected results. Twitter was also full of opinion, sure — it always is. But, it was also full of the basics: Who won and who lost.

Now that the dust has settled — mostly — the media is starting to look at themselves and wonder where they went wrong. (You might want to pay attention, too, y'all, since this introspection isn't likely to last.)

From The Daily Beast:

The media narrative by now is set in concrete: The voters are teed off, rising up, mad as hell and ready to wreak havoc.

There is a whiff, if you read between the lines, that the expected outcome is somehow unjust. The Democrats are going to get their backsides handed to them, in this telling, because the Obama administration has clumsily failed to explain what it’s done for the folks, and because of slightly scary passions unleashed by the Tea Party crazies.

The journalistic tone was somewhat different in 2006, when exasperated voters handed the House and Senate to the Dems, and 2008, when Barack Obama sold himself as a post-partisan savior.

I’m not saying this is intentional, or that the MSM are mangling the midterms. Many voters are angry, especially about the anemic economy, and it’s their right to toss out whoever they deem to be the bums. But on some level, many journalists believe the White House has accomplished a heckuva lot, and they see the Tea Partiers as inchoate and maddeningly inconsistent—denouncing big bad government while clinging to their Medicare and Social Security benefits. It’s as if the pundits are collectively engaged in a group grope, feeling their way around this strange and sharp-toothed political animal that resembles nothing they’ve encountered before.

Few have gone as far as the late (and usually great) Peter Jennings, explaining the 1994 Gingrich takeover by declaring that “the voters had a temper tantrum.” But news organizations were late to the Tea Party phenomenon, and are still grappling to explain it—in part because of its amorphous and unofficial nature. They were blindsided by Scott Brown’s win and Lisa Murkowski’s loss.

Read the rest of this post, by Howard Kurtz, here.

A classic scene from the movie Network. It's definitely worth a watch:

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