September 10, 2008


Peacock problem: MSNBC is in Barack's corner, which may cause an electoral backfire for the Democrats (STEVEN STARK, September 10, 2008, Boston Phoenix)

[M]SNBC isn’t exactly the mirror image of Fox, and therein lies the problem. First, Fox at least claims to be “fair and balanced” (even if it often is not). Though MSNBC — a cousin of NBC, which is supposed to be above all this — features the work of NBC reporters, it usually makes no such pretensions of objectivity in its prime-time coverage. Instead, MSNBC wears its “bias” proudly on its sleeve, a daily dose of positive proof that the media really is in the tank — a conservative conspiracy-theorist’s dream come true. McCain doesn’t even need to rally his forces this fall or remind them that cultural interests trump economic ones — he’s got a whole network led by Olbermann doing it for him, 24 hours a day.

Equally important, while Fox may favor Republicans over Democrats, it generally treats all Republicans equally. In contrast, it’s hard to make the case that MSNBC didn’t fall all over itself in the primary campaign boosting one Democrat over another, namely Obama over Clinton.

This has had the effect of converting a good many Clinton supporters and women of all stripes into populists of their own, now convinced that the media is out to get them, too. On the heels of sexist critiques of Clinton during the primaries, the perception that the press has gone after Palin has only cemented these impressions. Thus, it should be no surprise if large numbers of working-class women are thinking about joining forces with all those Republican populists who long ago decided that the overriding enemy in the culture is the mainstream media.

MSNBC has put the GOP in position to form a rather formidable coalition. Unfortunately for the Democrats, if it does assemble, it will do so on the other side of the aisle. MSNBC may be a relative commercial success. But for the Democrats this year, that network’s devotion to Obama — again, through no fault of his — has the potential to turn into an electoral disaster.

...the notion that Keith Olbermann defeated Barrack Obama needs to become conventional wisdom, just to drive the Left bonkers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 10, 2008 1:46 PM
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