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October 19, 2010

As Usual, Howard Kurtz Very Nearly Says Something Interesting, Then Restrains Himself From Making So Great An Error

Howard Kurtz occasionally writes media bias pieces, but in the end, he can't bring himself to actually criticize the MFM. Here, though, he goes right up to the line of being interesting and accurate before once again shying away. Via Hot Air's headlines.

he 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.

See what I mean? He has the right premise to come to a useful conclusion -- the media praised the voters for being exasperated and angry about Bush, but now pummels them for the exact same feelings about Obama -- but can't say it's intentional. Or even that the MFM is mangling the midterms (it is).

After that, he spends a couple of paragraphs excusing the media, before nearly becoming interesting yet again:

For Jano Cabrera, a Democratic strategist, the subject strikes a nerve. “My wife and I were having this very conversation,” he says. “When we were trying to seize power, we had justified anger, and now we talk about uninformed voters.” Obama inherited unprecedented challenges, Cabrera says, but in politics “you can’t go back and say it’s the other guy’s fault.”

Yes, let's go forward with this idea -- this is the second time it has been mentioned.

PREMISE: The media praised not-gonna-take-it-anymore voters when they turned against Republicans and Bush.

PREMISE: The media demonized not-gonna-take-it-anymore voters -- as stupid, crazy, and racist, and even unamerican -- when they turned against Democrats and Republicans.

CONCLUSION: ???

Howard Kurtz continues sitting at his computer scratching his head trying to puzzle this all out.

This is a year in which facts—the preferred currency of the reality-based media—often don’t seem to matter.

Ah-hah! Now we're cooking, right? Perhaps the MFM is not as "reality-based" as it thinks?

No, Kurtz uses this as a taking-off point to explain that facts don't matter to tea party candidates, that they invent their own realities on the fly (citing Paladino, O'Donnell, and Angle), and that's why the MFM is having such a Dickens of a time understanding them. See, the MFM is reality based, and the Tea Party is unreality based, so you can understand the failure of the MFM to comprehend these stupid, crazy, and racist (and sorta unamerican) people.

He then goes on to do this sort of one one hand, on the other hand nonsense, refusing to grasp the simple reality which isn't merely in front of his face but sitting on his face. He hails ObamaCare, for example, as a "huge achievement" and journalists are right to point out that this huge achievement has been "minimized" by voters. (Certainly it wasn't minimized by the MFM, who still think it's Fucking Awesome.)

But after that crap, he does flirt with getting it right once more:

The biggest media blunder, in my view, was the walk-on-water coverage that Obama drew in 2007 and 2008. The only real debate was whether he was more like FDR (Time) or Lincoln (Newsweek). The candidate obviously played a role in creating his own myth, but it was the breathless media that sent expectations soaring into the stratosphere. Once Obama had to grapple with two wars, a crippled economy and reflexive Republican opposition, he had no place to go but down. The press has long since fallen out of love with the president, but the overheated hyperbole did him no favors.

Who’s to blame for the coming electoral tsunami? We ought to be careful about dumping on the most convenient scapegoat, those moronic voters. In politics, it’s not that complicated: you either deliver or you pay the price.

Ah. Gee, seems if that insight were more internalized all this crap about the tea party being unreality based would be seen as the rubbish it is.

Who'd've thought? Voters want results, not rhetoric.

But in Howard Kurtz's liberal media bubble, that's still a controversial proposition. Good intentions ought to count, apparently, but only, of course, with liberals.

And even having hit upon that simple insight (which is only an insight to the stupid), he still can say the MFM is "reality based" and the Tea Party is a movement of fanatics, fascists, and fantasists.


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posted by Ace at 11:36 AM

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