They Must Really Be Mad

Howard Kurtz did something remarkable in his column today. Here are the first few paragraphs; see if you can spot what it is.

The media are getting mad.

Whether it’s the latest back-and-forth over attack ads, the silly lipstick flap or the continuing debate over Sarah and sexism, you can just feel the tension level rising several notches.

Maybe it’s a sense that this is crunch time, that the election is on the line, that the press is being manipulated (not that there’s anything new about that).

News outlets are increasingly challenging false or questionable claims by the McCain campaign, whether it’s the ad accusing Obama of supporting sex-ed for kindergartners (the Illinois legislation clearly describes “age-appropriate” programs) or Palin’s repeated boast that she stopped the Bridge to Nowhere (after she had supported it, and after Congress had effectively killed the specific earmark).

The McCain camp has already accused the MSM of trying to “destroy” the governor of Alaska. So any challenge to her record or her veracity can now be cast as the product of an oh-so-unfair press. Which, needless to say, doesn’t exactly please reporters, and makes the whole hanging-with-McCain-on-the-Straight-Talk era seem 100 years ago.

It goes on like that. I kept scanning the paragraphs for the “balance” section — You know, the part that says “The Obama campaign likewise accused Governor Palin of [some trivial thing taken out of context and blown up into a controversy], so it’s just as bad, blah blah blah.”

It turned up, finally, in the 14th paragraph, and even there Kurtz was quoting someone else. The point is that the first 13 paragraphs are about the lies coming from the McCain campaign, and only the McCain campaign. This is extremely unusual behavior coming from Kurtz, long a reliable tool for the Right. Usually, when the Republicans do something outrageously bad, the first 13 paragraphs of his column are about why it’s the Democrats’ fault.

The media must really be mad.

The wingnuts are calling Kurtz’s column a “descent into madness” and an example of “rabid partisanship for Obama.” That Kurtz, for once, is just plain telling the straight-up truth is not considered, nor have I found any rightie blogger who could refute the facts damning McCain in Kurtz’s column. Some things don’t change.

8 thoughts on “They Must Really Be Mad

  1. Oh my, all those years, decades, that McCain has spent schmoozing the media & now he’s declared war on them for not giving him a total free pass. There’s no greater wrath than a press scorned?
    Here’s hoping John keeps on dissing his fan club.

  2. …don’t worry about Howie. He rights the ship and regains his bearings at the end to give Power Line and Politico a chance to go off in some odd direction that has nothing to do with the premise of his column and still manages to push winger campaign talking points. This may be Howie’s demonstration to the faithful of what he thinks kabuki is…

  3. to give Power Line and Politico a chance to go off in some odd direction that has nothing to do with the premise of his column

    Yes, but not until the very end, and Hindsniffer is angry with Kurtz anyway.

  4. This is part of why I remain confident.

    McCain’s biggest (prior to Palin ONLY) asset was that the press was in love with the guy, and was willing to give him a pass on nearly anything.

    The Palin pick was very good in the short-term for McCain, gave him a good solid bounce, but the logic of the situation mandates that his line MUST be “reignite the culture wars” … which includes going to war with the media.

    As such, all the media types are becoming very disenchanted, very quickly … and probably angry and embarrassed about their previous loyalty.

    So, there’s going to be several cycles, at least, where the press is extremely critical of McCain and Palin … which should be enough all by itself to re-establish Obama’s lead, completely independant of Obama’s actual strategy. And while the press will probably eventually settle back into ground state, that infatuation is gone for good.

    No worries,


  5. I imagine a lot of people in the press must realize their asses are on the line along with everyone else’s if Sarah Palin winds up in the White House.

  6. Because this issue is about McCain’s attempts to manipulate the media, it’s possible that when his campaign and its enablers respond to Howie’s article with further attempts at intimidation, that will reinforce their anger, not cower them, for once.
    We’ll have to see. Obama’s campaign simply MUST make this ad:

    Video: McCain saying (on The View) Palin never requested any earmarks as governor.
    Announcer: FACT: Palin requested $X millions as governor, including $3.2 million for seals after McCain denounced bears …
    Announcer: Why does John McCain repeat lies? Is he trying to deceive you? Or is he just out of touch?

    This way it’s all about McCain. With current video. This could coalesce the finally emerging MSM narrative that McStain is full of moose turds.
    Then it’s game over.

  7. I would like to think the press wants the public to know when anyone is feeding them bull. I am not so sure they will speak up though, after seeing the way they allowed Kerry, a true hero, to be smeared by an awol daddy’s boy.
    I heard once that if the republicans said the earth was flat,
    the press would report that, and then say the democrats think otherwise. How does that type of reporting help anyone?
    I grew up thinking the press was the hero of the people.
    The press gives us the information we need. I don’t need spiel. I can get that from whoever wants to throw some out. I need truthful information. I need to know when someone is hiding something or lying about something. This pig in lipstick stuff is just about getting attention and trying to label someone sexist when it isn’t true and detracting from the truth, which in my opinion is that McCain=Bush. We all need to know BEFORE making important decisions.

  8. I haven’t read Kurtz for years because he is such a tool so I linked to his piece from yours. You are right, the first part is pretty good, then he get a little wishy until he finally gets washy.

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