Wednesday, March 12, 2008

You have to be a real junkie to appreciate the amount of research Wayne Barrett and his team assembled for the sake of exposing how uncharacteristically receptive the GOP punditocracy seemed to be towards Barack Obama when it wasn't at all clear that he was going to be the nominee. For example: as far back as 2006 George Will's girlish mooning for the Illinois senator creeped me out. This is the guy for whom no show of emotion is worth exhibiting unless it's been filtered through Tory disdain; he addresses panelists like a landlord in a George Eliot novel visiting his tenants. Barrett agrees:
Since few Democratic voters—theoretically—should be affected by anything this cabal has to say, its impact on the nominating process has been, at best, indirect. But the right's talkers have helped to shape the way the election is covered. And even if they've only affected the margins, it's precisely those margins—in states like Missouri, or in district delegate fights, or in the narrowing popular-vote contest—that matter. Perhaps the more important point for Democrats is why these drum beaters have been so universally on the same beat.
Since I spend a fair amount of time reading conservative media, I'm not surprised by the quickness -- the shamelessness -- with which Byron York, Bill Bennett, et al decry Obama now that the blond Hydra in whom they've invested so much of their talk-show energy looks as transparently absurd to the rest of us as she did to them back when they were the only ones who gave a shit that she was just one more deeply weird First Lady. But, as Barrett points out, those of us who weren't duly offended by Geraldine Ferraro's remarks -- hell, who weren't paying attention when she said them -- still must endure the morning talk shows and at least 10 minute of a broadcast/cable network devoted to the banality of call-and-response.

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