Monday, September 22, 2008

Is the Media Powerless to Elect Obama?

In the voting booth on November 4, it’s likely that most members of the media will pull the lever for Barack Obama. Whether or not they put aside their professional standards and actively try to get him elected is another matter. But because conspiracy theories are fun (see VF.com’s Trig Palin parentage timeline ), let’s assume for a moment that they do. Is there any way they could effectively accomplish it? Let’s review what they’ve tried so far:

1. Fawning coverage of Obama (the candidate with a halo-like glow around him on the covers of Newsweek, Time, and Rolling Stone; Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews gushing so embarrassingly that they had to be removed from MSNBC’s anchor desk).

2. Digging dirt on Obama’s opponents (The Times’s innuendo-laced piece about McCain’s ties to lobbyist Vicki Iseman; the poorly fact-checked stories about Palin’s supposed book-banning and secessionist proclivities).

3. Tough but fair investigations into McCain and Palin’s various lies, bad decisions, and questionable policies.

Those are pretty much the only weapons in the media’s arsenal, and so far none of them have really worked.

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