Now I'm a believer ...


I talked with Politico for their story "Netroots push back against MSM 'bias.' " That "bias" is in quotes indicates how Politico treated the story, but for what it is, it's a fair sketch of the new landscape. (By the way, a reminder while we're on the subject of Politico, MSM bias, pushback, etc.)

The quotes from mainstream media types are the most revealing parts of the story, as they predictably offer the both-sides-hate-me (irrationally) defense. (See Joe Klein: "I find that intemperance is intemperance from whichever direction it's coming.") Richard Cohen's position, though, has already rightly raised hackles around the blogosphere:

"I used to get a lot more on the right," said columnist Richard Cohen, who broke with liberals when he supported the Iraq war. More recently, the left has picked apart columns that are perceived as being favorable to John McCain.

"If you're a little bit critical of Barack Obama, you get really a pie of vilification right in the face," Cohen said, adding that his liberal critics "were born too late, because they would have been great communists."

Obviously, we'd all like to know who, exactly, is leveling this type of criticism, what it is, and why it could have come from the Politburo. (Here's our most recent criticism of him -- seems fair, no?)

But Atrios' point on the matter is a good one to remember these next two weeks, as the conventions gear up and punditry goes into overdrive: "Washington elites perceive the various aspects of politics as activities for insiders. The rest of us just get to watch some of it and, sadly, go to the polls every now and then." When you see Chris Matthews or The Situation Room team going on about how will working class people vote; does this attract female voters; how does such-and-such appeal to Catholics -- remember that this is a nationwide broadcast. All of these people are presumably watching, or at least the networks hope their reach is that wide. But these voters are being talked about, not to. Strange.

Kevin Drum has a new place over at Mother Jones (Steve Benen and Hilzoy have replaced him over at Washington Monthly), and so we'll send you there for some comments on Mark Halperin's comments on This Week. They were the hands-down, contest-is-over dumbest piece of analysis in the 2008 campaign so far. (In fairness, Sean Hannity and the rest of Fox News are excluded. His comments start thusly: "My hunch is this is going to end up being one of the worst moments in the entire campaign for one of the candidates but it's Barack Obama." And it goes downhill from there.

Look, the bottom line is this: Halperin's life is covering politics. He'd have to be dumb to actually think this. And he's not dumb.

Joe Biden's the guy, and the Republicans -- aided, of course, by the media -- have already started taking their swings. Luckily, Media Matters is here too:

During an interview with Sen. John McCain, Katie Couric did not challenge McCain's false claim that Sen. Joe Biden "said you had to break Iraq up into three different countries" as part of his Iraq plan. On America's Election HQ, Karl Rove falsely asserted that Biden's proposal for Iraq involved "unilaterally splitting up a sovereign nation," a statement that Chris Wallace echoed. In fact, Biden introduced a "five-point plan" to "[m]aintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions." Further, Biden has made clear that he was not proposing that his plan be imposed on Iraq "unilaterally."

More here. And:

Media outlets continue to report that Sen. Joe Biden was accused in 1987 of plagiarizing then-British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock without noting that while Biden did paraphrase from a Kinnock speech without attribution on at least two occasions in August 1987, he had reportedly credited Kinnock when previously using the same language.

More here.

Rupert Murdoch: 0-2 in Democratic vice presidential news.

Correspondence Corner:

Name: Dave
Hometown: Madison, WI

Since the right wing propaganda machine seems to be bringing up Rezko and others at every turn, isn't it about time to bring some of Mr. McCain's "old pals" out say like, Charles Keating, et. al.?

Name: John Emerson
Hometown: Osakis, MN

I think that Anne Applebaum's conflict of interest should always be noted when she writes about foreign affairs, which happens to be the main thing she writes about.

Likewise Andrea Mitchell's, though her right-wing ideologue husband is theoretically non-partisan.

Name: Jim Reuss
Hometown: Cheyenne, Wyoming

I understand that the media is ghoulishly attracted to terrorist issues and could not have resisted the recent opportunity to slander someone who had no recourse, but I am unclear as to why the FBI found it necessary to pursue a trial through the media in the anthrax letters case by releasing the results and findings of their investigators. It certainly did not instill or rebuild confidence in government investigators, who had already cost us several million dollars through wrongfully accusing a different scientist. Their suspect was dead, and the sum total of the effort amounted to a character assassination of a dead man.

Name: Dale
Hometown: Chattanooga, Tenn.

Saw Springsteen and the E Street Band last night in Nashville -- it was awesome. He even played "Girls in their Summer Clothes," the best song off Magic. Just ten minutes shy of three hours of Rock and Roll bliss. I hope I can move like that when I'm 58.

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