Commentary Magazine


Topic: predictable media

The Media Catch On: The GOP Is Out to Take Back the House

Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei pronounce: “Republicans aren’t as delusional as some think.” The “some” — in case you missed the bias – is “smart liberals.” They have discovered that, lo and behold, Republicans think they can take back the House. Well, the thinking has been out there for some time, but now Allen and Vandehei, are on the case. They’ve unearthed a secret plan: run against the unpopular Obama agenda. No! Ah, yes. They proceed to tell us that Democrats are in the dumps, a wave is building, and there lots of districts that John McCain carried in 2008 may swing Republican in House races.

The reporters tell us:

48 Democrats now sit in districts won by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008. Nearly every one of these races has at least one credible Republican or will soon get one. In addition, according to National Republican Campaign Committee data, 32 Democrats won with less than 55 percent of the vote in 2008. Of 10 Democratic open seats, Republicans will be on offense in at least eight. In 13 Republican open seats, Democrats have fielded strong challengers in only two.

They hasten to add: “This is the Cantor-GOP spin, but it’s not that far from reality.” (So that means it’s more of fact rather than spin, right?) You sort of wonder where they’ve been for a few months now and what is behind the grumpy reluctance to report what has been apparent for some time now — that the Democrats are in a heap of trouble.

Soon the rest of the media — reluctant as they are to report news adverse to the Democrats — will be following along. Soon it will be conventional wisdom and then anything short of a takeover in the House will be characterized as a phenomenal “win” by Obama. But, really, the predictable media pattern (ignore bad news as long as possible, set the expectations bar, and then spin the results) isn’t all that relevant. If the mainstream media could still influence voters, Creigh Deeds would be governor of Virginia. What matters is the underlying political reality — an electorate that has had it with one-party Democrat rule and wants a course correction. Even the ever-so-helpful liberal media can’t really ignore that.

Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei pronounce: “Republicans aren’t as delusional as some think.” The “some” — in case you missed the bias – is “smart liberals.” They have discovered that, lo and behold, Republicans think they can take back the House. Well, the thinking has been out there for some time, but now Allen and Vandehei, are on the case. They’ve unearthed a secret plan: run against the unpopular Obama agenda. No! Ah, yes. They proceed to tell us that Democrats are in the dumps, a wave is building, and there lots of districts that John McCain carried in 2008 may swing Republican in House races.

The reporters tell us:

48 Democrats now sit in districts won by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008. Nearly every one of these races has at least one credible Republican or will soon get one. In addition, according to National Republican Campaign Committee data, 32 Democrats won with less than 55 percent of the vote in 2008. Of 10 Democratic open seats, Republicans will be on offense in at least eight. In 13 Republican open seats, Democrats have fielded strong challengers in only two.

They hasten to add: “This is the Cantor-GOP spin, but it’s not that far from reality.” (So that means it’s more of fact rather than spin, right?) You sort of wonder where they’ve been for a few months now and what is behind the grumpy reluctance to report what has been apparent for some time now — that the Democrats are in a heap of trouble.

Soon the rest of the media — reluctant as they are to report news adverse to the Democrats — will be following along. Soon it will be conventional wisdom and then anything short of a takeover in the House will be characterized as a phenomenal “win” by Obama. But, really, the predictable media pattern (ignore bad news as long as possible, set the expectations bar, and then spin the results) isn’t all that relevant. If the mainstream media could still influence voters, Creigh Deeds would be governor of Virginia. What matters is the underlying political reality — an electorate that has had it with one-party Democrat rule and wants a course correction. Even the ever-so-helpful liberal media can’t really ignore that.

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