Sunday, June 15, 2008

Soft coverage on hard news

By Libby

Frank Rich had a good op-ed this week on the media obsession with polls and doomsday narratives.
There are many ways that Mr. Obama can lose this election. But his 6-percentage-point lead in the Journal-NBC poll is higher than Mr. Bush’s biggest lead (4 points) over Mr. Kerry at any point in that same poll in 2004. So far, despite all the chatter to the contrary, Mr. Obama is not only holding on to Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic constituencies but expanding others (like African-Americans). The same cannot be said of Mr. McCain and the G.O.P. base.

That story is minimized or ignored in part because an unshakable McCain fan club lingers in some press quarters and in part because it’s an embarrassing refutation of the Democrats-in-meltdown narrative that so many have invested in. Understating the splintering of the Republican base also keeps hope alive for a tight race. As the Clinton-Obama marathon proved conclusively, a photo finish is essential to the dramatic and Nielsen imperatives of 24/7 television coverage.
Really. The media are supposed to be watching, instead they became drama queens who invent their own crises as they go along. And speaking of Johnny Boy's fan club...

That's Jonathan Martin of Politico with his arm around Mr. McSame's lovely daughter Meghan. I'm told he brought flowers for Cindy to the family barbecue.

[cross-posted to The Reaction]

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