Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chambliss Wins, Media Declares Democrats Dead

Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin faced off in the Georgia Senate runoff (photo via AOL News/Getty Images/AP)

Alex Koppelman, in Salon's War Room blog, bullet-pointed media coverage of the recent Senate run-off in Georgia, highlighting a trend that was beginning to become bothersome. When collected in a list, the MSM's forced narrative of a backlash against Democrats and Barack Obama is wholly laughable. Add quantitative data into the equations -- via poll numbers -- and "unfounded" doesn't even begin to describe the baseless story arc.

CNN, for instance, reported on a "real dose of harsh reality" for the Obama team, in the words of David Gergen. He continued:
I think this actually puts a lot more pressure on Barack Obama to govern much more from the center and not from the left. He is going to need Republicans now.
Now, mathematically, of course, this is true -- the Democrats did not reach their "super-majority" and Obama will need some Republican support in Congress. But the extreme, dire tone adopted by much of the media is a sensationalism that has little basis in reality. "Democrats are getting a glimpse of their own limits," ABC's Rick Klein wrote.

But as the Salon post points out, Chambliss won his first race 53-46 -- a respectable margin that would probably increase as an incumbent. Not to mention, Georgia is a pretty fixed red state -- even in an election where traditional Republican strongholds like Virginia and North Carolina fell, McCain carried the Peach State. Bush saw a 58-41 victory there in 2004.

To call this rather predictable Republican victory any sort of bellweather is a search for media drama and nothing if not premature. Let's see an inaguration before we write our obits for Obama's public support.

1 comment:

M. Dery said...

Less political polemic, more media criticism!
Well-chosen peg for what could have been a tough-minded beatdown of the MSM's utterly baseless assertion that Obama must tack right, not only because he needs GOP support to ramrod his agenda through congress, but because "America is a center-right nation." You don't make this point explicitly, but should have, because that's the implicit assumption in all the Gergen waffle. Eric Alterman has done his usual superb job of buzzsawing this erroneous assertion into sawdust.