Kurtz: The mainstream media is blowing coverage of the midterms, Tea Party

posted at 12:15 pm on October 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

How many times have you heard Tea Party activists derided as an “angry mob” who just don’t appreciate all of the great things Barack Obama has done for the nation?  Howard Kurtz, now writing at the Daily Beast, has heard it too often, and writes today about the failure of the mainstream national media to comprehend and report on the grassroots phenomenon in this year’s midterm elections:

The media narrative by now is set in concrete: The voters are teed off, rising up, mad as hell and ready to wreak havoc.

There is a whiff, if you read between the lines, that the expected outcome is somehow unjust. The Democrats are going to get their backsides handed to them, in this telling, because the Obama administration has clumsily failed to explain what it’s done for the folks, and because of slightly scary passions unleashed by the Tea Party crazies.

The journalistic tone was somewhat different in 2006, when exasperated voters handed the House and Senate to the Dems, and 2008, when Barack Obama sold himself as a post-partisan savior.

I’m not saying this is intentional, or that the MSM are mangling the midterms. Many voters are angry, especially about the anemic economy, and it’s their right to toss out whoever they deem to be the bums. But on some level, many journalists believe the White House has accomplished a heckuva lot, and they see the Tea Partiers as inchoate and maddeningly inconsistent—denouncing big bad government while clinging to their Medicare and Social Security benefits. It’s as if the pundits are collectively engaged in a group grope, feeling their way around this strange and sharp-toothed political animal that resembles nothing they’ve encountered before.

Journalists from most national media outlets never bothered to try to get it right.  At best, they took the lazy path of looking for the most extreme signs and interviewing the fringe attendees rather than the organizers and mainstream activists.  Kurtz is right when he says the tone was much different in 2006, when media outlets ignored the Bush/Hitler signs and the radical groups like International ANSWER and World Can’t Wait who routinely organized turnout for demonstrations.  While a few journalists did the footwork and presented a balanced view of the Tea Party movement in 2010, the meme has mainly been one of irrational opposition to Obama despite the very rational motivators of low economic growth, high unemployment, a collapsing housing market that still hasn’t righted itself, and spiraling debt and spending by Democrats.

This began, Kurtz hypothesizes, in the media’s tongue-bath coverage of the Obama campaign in 2007-8, setting up memes which the media in general seems loathe to contradict even now:

The biggest media blunder, in my view, was the walk-on-water coverage that Obama drew in 2007 and 2008. The only real debate was whether he was more like FDR (Time) or Lincoln (Newsweek). The candidate obviously played a role in creating his own myth, but it was the breathless media that sent expectations soaring into the stratosphere. Once Obama had to grapple with two wars, a crippled economy and reflexive Republican opposition, he had no place to go but down. The press has long since fallen out of love with the president, but the overheated hyperbole did him no favors.

Hyperbole aside, Democrats campaigned as fiscally responsible in both 2006 and 2008 in winning control of Congress and then the White House.  Obama himself campaigned as a post-partisan moderate who would work with Republicans for common-sense solutions.  Democrats have increased annual federal spending by 38% — over a trillion dollars — since taking control of the budget for FY2008, added almost $5 trillion to the national debt, and spent most of the past two years pushing through a federal takeover of the nation’s health-care system that most voters didn’t want.  Nancy Pelosi locked Republicans out of writing the stimulus and budget legislation, and on the third day of his presidency, Obama endorsed that move with his “I won.”

In what universe would that not make voters angry?  Their motivation isn’t “inchoate” at all, a fancy word journalists use instead of “I haven’t bothered to find out what people want.”  Democrats have spent so much in three years that they’ve managed to make the 2001-6 Republicans look like Ebenezer Scrooge in comparison and have stunted economic growth through massive expansions in regulation.  Voters want it all reversed and to start shrinking the federal government before we follow Greece into default.  If the media would remove their lips from Obama’s posterior and actually talk with people in the Tea Party movement, they wouldn’t be missing one of the most intriguing and impactful grassroots political movements in decades.

Update: Ace is less than impressed:

Gee, seems if that insight were more internalized all this crap about the tea party being unreality based would be seen as the rubbish it is.

Who’d’ve thought? Voters want results, not rhetoric.

But in Howard Kurtz’s liberal media bubble, that’s still a controversial proposition. Good intentions ought to count, apparently, but only, of course, with liberals.

To be fair, I think Kurtz was arguing that it’s not controversial, and in fact rather simple, but otherwise the entire post is a great rant.  Be sure to read it.

Update II: I’ve been getting e-mails and Twitter messages all day about the headline and its arguably suggestive use of the word “blowing.”  I certainly didn’t have that meaning in mind when I wrote it (“Kurtz: The mainstream media is blowing the midterms, Tea Party”), but I have to admit to being amused by it enough to let it slide for a couple of hours. Notice that I’ve now added “coverage of” to clarify my original meaning.


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Mel Gibson was sadly unavailable to comment.

fiatboomer on October 19, 2010 at 12:17 PM

DOH!!!!

belad on October 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM

“Talk” with people?

You mean leave my cube?

But I have my iPod here and I can sign onto the Daily Kos anytime I want!

Would this “talking to people” interrupt my coffee breaks, lunch breaks, potty breaks and leaving early to go play beer pong?

Well I want none of it then.

I’ll just cut and paste what the DNC sends me and call it a day.

NoDonkey on October 19, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Couldn’t be bothered with Kurtz’s poll on whether or not the Tea Party has out-smarted the Establishment Media. Can’t see how the EM is even relevant nowadays.

obladioblada on October 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM


Obama himself campaigned as a post-partisan moderate …

I can’t believe people actually fell for that shiite. I mean, the guy even said “I want to spread the wealth around.”!!! And people thought he was a ‘moderate’? He had the most liberal (and shortest) record in the Senate. Duh.

Tony737 on October 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Ace has a fantastic post on this.

BadgerHawk on October 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

That ain’t the only thing they’ve been blowing.

The Mega Independent on October 19, 2010 at 12:22 PM

This is the money quote, IMHO:

This is a year in which facts—the preferred currency of the reality-based media—often don’t seem to matter.

Kurtz hasn’t changed much. As I said in the headlines on this, he’s trying to hang on to some shreds of credibility, but he still takes backhanded swipes at the “rabble” and props up the media.

Is this the new Cabalist meme for the MSM? reality-based media? And the Tea Party’s problems is that we’re not grounded in reality and we just don’t pay attention to the facts?

INC on October 19, 2010 at 12:24 PM

I’m pretty sure the Mainstream media is not blowing the tea party.

Shtetl G on October 19, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Ace has a fantastic post on this.

BadgerHawk on October 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Thanks! He saw the same quote that I did!

INC on October 19, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Tell me again, who are the rubes?

Lily on October 19, 2010 at 12:27 PM

The biggest media blunder, in my view, was the walk-on-water coverage that Obama drew in 2007 and 2008.

Is he implying that it has stopped? The country is on the verge of anarchy and bankruptcy and Obama is still getting the royal treatment from the press.

Tommy_G on October 19, 2010 at 12:27 PM

The MSM is not much different than any other special interest group. They spend millions of dollars supporting an agenda of the democratic party. The only difference between them and special interest groups or lobbiest for that matter is they have the ability to influence millions of people with their reporting. All media outlets are guilty of it.

milwife88 on October 19, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Tea Partiers as inchoate and maddeningly inconsistent—denouncing big bad government while clinging to their Medicare and Social Security benefits.

How is that wrong? It is maddeningly inconsistent. Kinda like Carly F. dodging Wallace’s 7 attempts to get her to explain which entitlements she will cut.

Grow Fins on October 19, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Mel Gibson was sadly unavailable to comment.

His ex leaked it. “But first you will blow me.”

maverick muse on October 19, 2010 at 12:28 PM

News flash: MSM misses mark on Tea Party coverage…

Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z…

They’ll wake up on NO-vember 3rd with a BIG hangover…

Khun Joe on October 19, 2010 at 12:29 PM

It’s as if the pundits are collectively engaged in a group grope

As if? The MSM lives in a bubble of it’s own making. They sold their souls to advance Obama. They’re whores. And the American public is well aware of it. All they can do now is whine and whimper. If paid what they were worth, all would be on the unemployment line.

GarandFan on October 19, 2010 at 12:30 PM

If the media would remove their lips from Obama’s posterior and actually talk with people in the Tea Party movement

That’s not his posterior.

Immolate on October 19, 2010 at 12:31 PM

We have a multi-million dollar columnist at the newspaper of record, who writes an op-ed about “mean Republican women”.

Think she would bother to, I don’t know, talk to one?

Ha! MoDo has better things to do with her time.

Her crappy columns write themselves.

Bob Herbert, Eugene Robinson, two other good examples of “highly esteemed” newspapermen, who write half-assed columns that shouldn’t appear in a high school paper.

Reporters look at what they get away with and say, “why work?” Put in a lazy effort and just spout what passes for liberal conventional wisdom and not really have to work at all.

That anyone who cares about “journalism” can’t see this is just appalling.

NoDonkey on October 19, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Kurtz is really just peddling a slightly less insulting version of the “bad marketing” hypothesis to explain Obama’s failure. Voters are too stupid to appreciate the glorious achievements of Obama, but it isn’t their fault, you see. The MSM raised their hopes too high and then failed to follow through and explain how all the legislation jammed through congress was in their best interest.

I for one am grateful that we have Howard around to explain these things to us.

Infidoll on October 19, 2010 at 12:32 PM

In summary, in order to be credible, a “reporter” needs to gather news from sources other than his own navel.

Bummer for the media: It’s much easier to just make it up.

landlines on October 19, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Let me guess. When Howie says ‘reality based’ he is not talking about the reality I live in. He means it in some string theory parallel universe sort of way. Or possibly in the sense of a reality he is cobbling together for an up coming computer game of a talking heads vs. hate mongers with pitch forks to be released by the alphabets and the DNC.

snaggletoothie on October 19, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Hyperbole aside, Democrats campaigned as fiscally responsible in both 2006 and 2008 in winning control of Congress and then the White House.

That is exactly what Raum Emanuel organized. Harry Mitchell D-AZ ran a “fiscally responsible” campaign and won JD Hayworth’s House Seat. Mitchell’s claim to fiscal responsible fame is for refusing any pay increases. And Hayworth’s personal kickbacks from pork he won for tribal councils didn’t paint him fiscally responsible. Ed likes “in all fairness” so let’s look seriously at the last Republican tsunami Congressional Majority with Bush’s inauguration. Gingrich’s huge pork hardly paints Newt the fiscal conservative he projected in “contract” with America. That contract may as well have been issued by the mafia for the amount of fiscal responsibility the Republicans managed during their last majority power plays at the expense of the taxpaying citizens. What’s a conservative voter to do with the next Republican Majority?

maverick muse on October 19, 2010 at 12:34 PM

I’m pretty sure the Mainstream media is not blowing the tea party.

Shtetl G on October 19, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Yeah, poor choice of words, and I’d assert that many of them are still doing that to/for Obama.

ornery_independent on October 19, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Howie – You might be able to sell a man a crap sandwich if you lie to him about what’s in it, but after he takes a bite of it, you’re probably not going to be able to sell him a second one.

Not too difficult to figure this out.

NoDonkey on October 19, 2010 at 12:36 PM

The biggest media blunder, in my view, was the walk-on-water coverage that Obama drew in 2007 and 2008.

When the media-lives-in-Obama’s-anus began. They still dwell there, but (on purpose) it’s very suffocating now.

If the media would remove their lips from Obama’s posterior and actually talk with people in the Tea Party movement, they wouldn’t be missing one of the most intriguing and impactful grassroots political movements in decades.

So many Ed passages are quotable. Great write-up!

More media dereliction:

- 2006/2008 liberal Congress let off the hook on accountability, blaming the rightie Congress and Bush, when now, should the right win, they demand accountability and cooperation going forward (see Eugene Robertson’s writing, just for ex.)
- the sheer impertinence of Pelosi/Reid/Obama, at levels never before encountered
- the elitism of the ‘rulers’, the sheer dismissal of the voters
- the narcissims,NPD,of Obama
- the faux claim that Obama is so smart and such a good communicator – he’s maliciously naive, actually.
- the lack of leadership traits – Obama has not motivated the nation.
- the division of the nation caused by Obama – 1001 examples

Most critical and so front and center – he did not focus on the economy/jobs, nor did his leftie Congress. This, single-handedly must and will destroy them. Their “we know better” should destroy them and teach the media a good lesson. May they be bankrupt soon, most all of them. They are most derelict in their duties and contributed a lot to the destruction of a once great land, and hope for the free world.

Schadenfreude on October 19, 2010 at 12:36 PM

BadgerHawk on October 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

OT, BH, but you might want to keep your eye on this .

Barnestormer on October 19, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Kurt: broken clock

Dude, get out of the danger bubble

cmsinaz on October 19, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Ed, the insistance of the MSM, CNN and MSNBC to worship Obama and the dems is driving them out of business. Some more quickly than others.

The great news is that as they die off (and they will, just like air america) other great replacements will rise up.

dogsoldier on October 19, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Danger should be dang….droid

cmsinaz on October 19, 2010 at 12:39 PM

“Nixon won? That’s impossible! No one I know voted for him!!!”

Same as it ever was.

The Monster on October 19, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Voters really began to become riled over the federal government’s refusal to listen to the people who pay the taxes when the stimulus bill was passed. The bill was clearly an expensive boondoggle that would have no positive effect on the economy and jobs. It was merely a slush fund-wish list fulfillment for Dem earmarks.

The irate electorate became angrier when Congress acted against their letters, emails, and phone calls and failure to be present for town halls when aspects of the health care bill became apparent. Those who were informed throughout the process of that sausage-making noted the bill’s flaws and budget-busting aspects. For their knowledgeable objections, the TEA party activists were belittled and smeared. Nevertheless, now that this unconstitutional travesty was passed in a most stealthy way, the very flaws that people objected to are coming to light.

None of the legislation that the Dem-dominated Congress has passed is rooted in addressing the causes of the financial meltdown or the reasons for the unsustainablility of our mandated social programs.

TARP awarded foreign banks. Congress never tackled the inherent problems of Fannie and Freddie, the waste and fraud of Medicare and Medicaid, the out-of-control tort system, etc. Instead the ObaMao administration and its Dem lackeys in Congress decided that their role is to decide the winners and losers in the economic lottery and to trash the very engine of our capitalism.

The anger is very real. It becomes even more clear when well-educated, experienced, and productive members of society see their pink slips of layoffs, watch their savings and retirement funds dwindle to nothing, and listen to politicians talk about raising taxes.

onlineanalyst on October 19, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Dude, get out of the danger bubble

cmsinaz on October 19, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Howie gets hives if he strays outside the beltway.

Went to Leesburg once and had to stay in bed for a week.

NoDonkey on October 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM

The media narrative by now is set in concrete: The voters are teed off, rising up, mad as hell and ready to wreak havoc.
====================
It won`t be the Tea Party to worry about,it`ll be
the Liberals dream slipp`n through their fingertips!

Its gonna be a Liberal Nam!!
===============================

Meanwhile…….Tea kettle and cups were slogg`n
through Dang,with Lipton on point,when all H*LL
broke loose……it was a Liberal gooks hiding among
the vegetation near the voting polls……….

it was a bloody Tea-ambush,thank-fully this
little ol`lady tea-party was just gett`n started……

Coming soon………………..

to theaters near you…………………

PappyD61`s…………Tea Nam..the movie,(sarc).

canopfor on September 23, 2010 at 2:02 PM

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Tea minus 14 days…and counting.

kingsjester on October 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Love the Photoshop!

Sorry for the OT:
Re: Rush’s show

With the Tea Party movement and the new media environment, I think that a government shutdown, if done right, would work against the Democrats this time.

FloatingRock on October 19, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Correction – should have said Eugene Robinson, above.

Schadenfreude on October 19, 2010 at 12:44 PM

I think the “Walk on water coverage” was great. When you build one person up so far it is inevitable they will fall and the fall is so much farther. Watch Jon Stewart, he spends a good chunk of his show with his face in in his palms. He was so sure that this was the end of the evil GOP and now his whole world is crumbling around him. I know it’s frowned upon by polite society but I am enjoying laughing at their pain.

The Expert Knows
http://theexpertsblog.blogspot.com

HotAirExpert on October 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Best photoshop, ever

“A” stands for arugula.

“D” stands for dummies, incl. the media.

Schadenfreude on October 19, 2010 at 12:48 PM

NoDonkey on October 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM

:)

cmsinaz on October 19, 2010 at 12:49 PM

“Talk” with people?

You mean leave my cube?

But I have my iPod here and I can sign onto the Daily Kos anytime I want!

Would this “talking to people” interrupt my coffee breaks, lunch breaks, potty breaks and leaving early to go play beer pong?

Well I want none of it then.

I’ll just cut and paste what the DNC sends me and call it a day.

NoDonkey on October 19, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Well put. It’s like you’re inside their heads.

fossten on October 19, 2010 at 12:49 PM

And to think,it all started with Obama calling
the info babe,`Sweety`’,then,it was the,
—————————————–
May 15 2008
Obama – Sweetie Comment May 15

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYkPpThfp7k&feature=related

bitter
clingers
guns
bibles……
===============
Remember this….

Team Obama Calls Out Swat Team on Tea Party Patriots!

http://biggovernment.com/jhoft/2010/04/28/team-obama-calls-out-swat-team-on-tea-party-patriots/
=========================================
And this……………..

August 7 2009
Obama “Get In Their Face” – Mob Tactics

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxHjjJK3BUk

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 12:52 PM

OT Breaking: NBC4 reports shots fired @ Pentagon:

…Over the weekend, several rounds were
fired at the National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center
. Several glass panels were struck, but none of the museum’s artifacts were affected. It was not immediately known if the two incidents are connected.

Terp Mole on October 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Hyperbole aside, Democrats campaigned as fiscally responsible in both 2006 and 2008 in winning control of Congress and then the White House. Obama himself campaigned as a post-partisan moderate who would work with Republicans for common-sense solutions.

Precisely, Ed.
Even now, Obama is running against every single budget cut the Republicans propose (or might propose). He tells his audiences to vote for him because Republicans want to cut Education funding! They want to cut Aids funding! He even criticized Republicans at his science fair yesterday (they didn’t want to fund science teachers!).
He promised us net spending cuts, went on to increase spending, and now only criticizes any spending cuts he can imagine. There’s no fiscal sanity in sight. People are crazy if they aren’t concerned.

MayBee on October 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Maybe they can build him a shanty or a hut to stand beneath to speechify to us. It might help to atone for the building of Barackopolis during the Glory Days of Hopium Changenum Maximous.

/Nah, way too late for that.

Key West Reader on October 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM

“To be fair, I think Kurtz was arguing that it’s not controversial, and in fact rather simple, but otherwise the entire post is a great rant.”

To be fair, Ed, you might have noted this rather blindered assertion by Kurtz — “This is a year in which facts—the preferred currency of the reality-based media—often don’t seem to matter” — for what it is: BS. The last thing the reality-based media is is reality based or fair in it’s coverage of facts.

That, to me, exemplifies Ace’s point about results vs rhetoric being controversial as witnessed by Assoc Press’ recent homage to a “productive” Congress.

Dusty on October 19, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Tea minus 14 days…and counting.

kingsjester on October 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM

kingsjester: Amen…Tick….Tick…..Tick……!:)

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 12:54 PM

All anyone in the media had to do back in 2007 was to just do a complete, thorough background check on Obama, including his voting record while he was in the State Legislature and later in the U.S. Senate, to see that this guy was ANYTHING but qualified to run for and be elected President Of The United States.

It is obvious that, with the exception of Fox News and other outlets, the majority of the media never did this check.

If they had, red flags would have been going up all over the place and we would not been in the mess we are in right now.

pilamaye on October 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM

That is exactly what Raum Emanuel organized. Harry Mitchell D-AZ ran a “fiscally responsible” campaign and won JD Hayworth’s House Seat. Mitchell’s claim to fiscal responsible fame is for refusing any pay increases. And Hayworth’s personal kickbacks from pork he won for tribal councils didn’t paint him fiscally responsible. Ed likes “in all fairness” so let’s look seriously at the last Republican tsunami Congressional Majority with Bush’s inauguration. Gingrich’s huge pork hardly paints Newt the fiscal conservative he projected in “contract” with America. That contract may as well have been issued by the mafia for the amount of fiscal responsibility the Republicans managed during their last majority power plays at the expense of the taxpaying citizens. What’s a conservative voter to do with the next Republican Majority?

maverick muse on October 19, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Gingrich does a better job than any other possible GOP presidential hopeful at opening his mouth and/or zipper and shooting himself in the foot periodically, but I’d give Newt a pass as the main culprit of the GOP pork — thanks to his divorce scandal No. 2 in 1998, he was out of the leadership in the post-98 period, when under Hastert and DeLay the House GOP decided that being Democrat-Lite was the way to get re-elected (the Texas county I’m in paid out over $350,000 to DeLay’s brother, Randy, while Tom was in power as a way to make sure the federal Bureau of Prisons kept steering inmates this way. Combine that with all hte K-Street lobbying deals and Tom really was the Republicans’ Nancy Pelosi).

As far as 2011 goes, I’m sure some in the House GOP are secretly hoping that the Democrats retain control of the Senate, because that means they can keep up the rhetoric of fiscal responsibility going into 2012 without actually having to worry about anything getting passed and sent on to Obama (though as a whole, I expect the 2011-12 House Republicans to be more representative of the current Tea Party feeling than the Senate, where if the GOP does somehow regain control by a one- or two-vote margin, the current leadership is almost exact the same as the 2002-06 leadership, and are far more likely to think going back to being ‘Democrat Lite’ will be enough to keep them in power).

jon1979 on October 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM

they see the Tea Partiers as inchoate and maddeningly inconsistent—denouncing big bad government while clinging to their Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Isn’t that accurate? So-called tea partiers have never been serious about cutting government. The three biggest parts of the federal government are Defense, Medicare, and Social Security. I have not seen one poll that indicates the phonies who go to tea party rallies want to cut any of those areas.

It’s not fair for lefties to accuse tea partiers of racism, to be sure. But to accuse them of being insincere, gutless GOP stooges seems completely fair.

Enrique on October 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Journalists from most national media outlets never bothered to try to get it right.

They aren’t SUPPOSED to “get it right”!

Or interpret, slant, quantify, qualify or otherwise try to analyze what is going on.

Their friggin’ job is to REPORT! THAT’S ALL!

That these hamhanded nits imagine that they’re the be-all and end-all of clever manipulation of the days events is purely self-invented.

heldmyw on October 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM

The mere fact that Kurtz used “reality-based” as an adjective shows how deep in the hole he is for liberalism. That’s a phrase that was invented by left-wing bloggers years ago so they could sit around and par each other on the back for being part of the “reality-based community” (of which they never were any such thing). Before that, the phrase pretty much didn’t exist.

He couldn’t have inadvertently outed himself more if he’d typed “Chimpy McHalliburton” instead of “Bush.”

The Lone Platypus on October 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Stephen Hunter, formerly of the Washington Post, wrote the following description of the media in his book I,Sniper:

“The narrative is the set of assumptions the press believes in, possibly without even knowing that it believes in them. It’s not like they get together every morning and decide ‘These are the lies we tell today.’ No, that would be too crude and honest. Rather, it’s a set of casual, nonrigorous assumptions about a reality they’ve never really experienced that’s arranged in such a way as to reinforce their best and most ideal presumptions about themselves and their importance to the system and the way they’ve chosen to live their lives. It’s a way of arranging things a certain way that they all believe in without ever really addressing carefully. It permeates their whole culture.”

………………..
The Obama narrative is collapsing and the media is confused and searching for their new comfortable narrative.

pilsener on October 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM

It might help to atone for the building of Barackopolis during the Glory Days of Hopium Changenum Maximous.

/Nah, way too late for that.

Key West Reader on October 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Key West Reader:I do love your word creativity,Barack
opolis Hopium Changenum Maximous,hehe:)

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Kurtz REALLY doesn’t get it!!! Does he remember WHY it was called the Tea Party? It’s a really OLD idea, based on the Boston Tea Party of 1775, which protested taxation without representation.

Today’s Tea Party is no different–Obama and the Dems in Congress are running up huge debts, which will lead to huge tax increases, for programs (Porkulus, ObamaCare) the PEOPLE don’t want–just about every poll shows that 55 to 60% of the voters want ObamaCare repealed!

But on some level, many journalists believe the White House has accomplished a heckuva lot, and they see the Tea Partiers as inchoate and maddeningly inconsistent—denouncing big bad government while clinging to their Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Not all Tea Partiers are on Medicare, but those who ARE on Medicare are NOT inconsistent. Let’s face facts: elderly people need more medical care than young people, and ObamaCare cuts Medicare funding by $500 billion over 10 years to “pay for” forced health insurance for young people, many of whom don’t even want it. Since Medicare already doesn’t cover doctors’ full costs, cutting funding will only make the problem worse.

Steve Z on October 19, 2010 at 1:01 PM

The way the tea party protests against Congress on the weekend of the passage of the health care bill was eye opening to me.
It was shocking to see the anti-tea party narrative roll across twitter, flow through the blogosphere, and land smack dab on the everyday outlets like the Today show.

It went from a large respectful protest one could witness with one’s own eyes, to a racist, hate filled, over heated, dangerous mob in one day. Allegations of death threats and Sarah Palin with targets on her website filled the media.

In the meantime, the AFL CIO and SEIU were taking buses to people’s homes and issuing citizens arrests with barely a nod from the media.

It was something I’d never seen.

MayBee on October 19, 2010 at 1:01 PM

News flash: MSM misses mark on Tea Party coverage…

Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z…

They’ll wake up on NO-vember 3rd with a BIG hangover…

Khun Joe on October 19, 2010 at 12:29 PM

As some lady whose name I don’t remember told Arlen Specter: “You have awakened a sleeping giant!”

The Lilliputian journalists will be running for cover when Gulliver comes to town on November 3, while Specter commiserates with Charlie Crist and Lisa Murkowski.

Steve Z on October 19, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Enrique on October 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Raise the retirement age for Social Security, means test it and do the same for Medicare.

Get rid of the 20 year retirement for the US military. Pay the guys more while they are serving, not for 40+ years after they served.

Simple.

NoDonkey on October 19, 2010 at 1:04 PM

pilamaye on October 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM

If the media had done their job, he never would have been nominated, much less elected.

Del Dolemonte on October 19, 2010 at 1:07 PM

What a bizarre headline, Ed.

Kurtz: The mainstream media is blowing the … Tea Party

Talk about strange bedfellows…

Jaibones on October 19, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Enrique on October 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Someone leave the cage door open over at DU, Enrique? You’ve been a very bad dog! Get back in there!

Jaibones on October 19, 2010 at 1:10 PM

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM

:o)

Key West Reader on October 19, 2010 at 1:11 PM

As for conservative Tea Party types, don’t listen to troll-doucheboy. Bush proposed actual restructuring of Social Security and the Demonrats played politics with it; Tea Partiers are no less enthusiastic about entitlement reform than the rest of us fiscal conservatives, but they’re smart enough to avoid talking about gutting SS and Medicare before an election with the corrupt, lying Dems.

And how, precisely, are we hypocrites on entitlement spending, while screaming for the repeal of OBozoCare and the Medicare prescription drug card that Bush signed off on?

Liar.

Jaibones on October 19, 2010 at 1:15 PM

So to Kurtz the bottom line is the public is basically stupid sheep and if the media had just done more Obama Worshipping and ignored the complainers then everyone would still be bowing down to the wonder of the One….

albill on October 19, 2010 at 1:29 PM

We can’t possibly expect the Liberal media to lower themselves to go out, and talk with the *gasp* peasants!!!

Heaven forbid!!! Eeeewwww, icky, patooey.

It’s just easier to look down their noses and make assumptions, and cast aspersions. Hey…they still get paid to do that.

capejasmine on October 19, 2010 at 1:30 PM

A complete hiring freeze, salary freeze, pension increase freeze, and bonus elimination for federal employees for the next four years or so is a much better idea than tinkering with Social Security.

By any measure out there, federal unionized employees are overpaid and over-benefitted, and they paid a pittance toward their own retirements and benefits.

Social Security on the other hand was over-contributed to, and the benefits available are poverty-level.

slickwillie2001 on October 19, 2010 at 1:31 PM

It’s just easier to look down their noses and make assumptions, and cast aspersions. Hey…they still get paid to do that.

capejasmine on October 19, 2010 at 1:30 PM

and we all know what they get when they ASS U ME

cmsinaz on October 19, 2010 at 1:32 PM

Isn’t that accurate? So-called tea partiers have never been serious about cutting government. The three biggest parts of the federal government are Defense, Medicare, and Social Security. I have not seen one poll that indicates the phonies who go to tea party rallies want to cut any of those areas.

It’s not fair for lefties to accuse tea partiers of racism, to be sure. But to accuse them of being insincere, gutless GOP stooges seems completely fair.

Enrique on October 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Isn’t that accurate? So-called tea partiers have never been serious about cutting government.

Not at all true; lot’s of conservatives have proposed spending cut plans that include such things as improving social security to make it viable/sustainable going forward. These plans include changing how future enrollees plans are handled, gradually increasing the retirement age, and some forms of means testing.

The real problem: make any suggestion about changing entitlements, and you get accused of setting seniors on ice floes.

Similarly, conservatives can, and do, discuss making appropriate cuts to defense spending. We just prefer to try to do it in ways that won’t leave us weakened.

massrighty on October 19, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Tea minus 14 days…and counting.

kingsjester on October 19, 2010 at 12:43 PM

kingsjester: Amen…Tick….Tick…..Tick……!:)

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 12:54 PM

When you hear the whistle on the kettle the TEA is ready! Can’t wait to have “a spot of tea!”

tims472 on October 19, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Kurtz can talk all he wants, but the Media will do the exact same thing for O in the run-up to 2012. They have learned NOTHING!

tims472 on October 19, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Dern, I shoulda checked before leaving my comment in the headlines. Lugging it in by the ears now…

Who’s to blame for the coming electoral tsunami?

…blame? BLAME??

Don’t you mean, “get the credit for”?

surrounded on October 19, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Once Obama had to grapple with…reflexive Republican opposition

I feel compelled to once again point out that Democrats held a majority in the House and a super majority in the Senate. In that instance, opposition from Republicans was really immaterial. Øbama had to deal with opposition from within his own party.

Kafir on October 19, 2010 at 1:55 PM

There is a whiff, if you read between the lines, that the expected outcome is somehow unjust. The Democrats are going to get their backsides handed to them, in this telling, because the Obama administration has clumsily failed to explain what it’s done for the folks, and because of slightly scary passions unleashed by the Tea Party crazies.

..deconstruct this paragraph carefully and you will find that there’s more than a whiff. Even Kurtz, in this piece, comes out smelling like he took a shower down at the local turd-reclamation plant.

I mean, folks, raise your hands all those that watched the transsexual stevedore, Amanpour, and the resident right-wing blond ditz-ette, Airhead McCain savage the right with innuendo and false assumption while poor old George Will sat there sipping his Ovaltine and gumming his Zwiebach.

Whiff? You want whiff? Try the stench of white-knuckled desperation.

On NOvember 3rd, they will all be sprawling in the dirt mumbling, “..did anyone get the number of that freight train?”

The War Planner on October 19, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Voters want it all reversed and to start shrinking the federal government before we follow Greece into default.

This.

ya2daup on October 19, 2010 at 2:05 PM

…You might be able to sell a man a crap sandwich if you lie to him about what’s in it, but after he takes a bite of it, you’re probably not going to be able to sell him a second one.

Not too difficult to figure this out.

NoDonkey on October 19, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Probably not, but he will be looking for a toothbrush. So, beware of trojan toothbrushes.

itsacookbook on October 19, 2010 at 2:13 PM

A Gallup poll released last month stated that 57% of Americans either disbelieve the media a lot or totally disbeielve the media.

Sarah Palin is one of few Republicans/conservatives to take up the battle against the media. The rest of the gang needs to join her. If Republicans believe they are going to get fair coverage by being nice to the media, they might as well be looking for the Easter Bunny.

bw222 on October 19, 2010 at 2:13 PM

I can see November from my house.

Wade on October 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM

It’s so easy. People don’t like Obama’s policies because they don’t work. And so they will be voting for people who oppose Obama’s policies as well.

A 3 year old can figure it out. But 99% of the MSM is still scratching their heads.

angryed on October 19, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Obama’s problem is pretty simple…he ran as an economic and political ‘moderate’…the problem was the media measured that ‘moderate’ as in the middle of the left, not middle of national political mood. They sold The media sold the idea of ‘moderate’. The public expected middle of the road…they got far left tax and spend old time liberal. The media is as responsible for failed expectations as anyone. They sold moderate and delivered extremist.

The people were not amused.

JIMV on October 19, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Ace has a fantastic post on this.

BadgerHawk on October 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

I have to agree, Ace’s take is more on point by my lights. Ed’s giving credit to Howie because Kurtz concedes a few inches in conceding press culpability, but this is one case where halfway measures holding guilty parties accountable may be worse than no attempt at judging at all.

It would be one thing if a journalist specializing in covering the media wrote a column broaching an alien subject like energy policy or nanotechnology or women’s fashion which proffered so many contradictions and so many premises in their analysis which do not cohere. You’d be willing to cut him the same amount of slack that Ed does.

But Kurtz’s whole raison d’etre in the business is to critique media and his own deeply ingrained biases have obviously compromised his ability to do that effectively as this column very starkly demonstrates. He has been entrusted with vetting the media which was entrusted with vetting Obama, and like his colleagues, he’s completely abdicated his responsibility to do so!

Worse, because he’s appears to offer the semblance of dispassionately adjudicating their wretched performance covering Obama & ventures to slap their wrists superficially, he let’s his colleagues maintain the facade that their overtly biased Obama reporting has been vetted & was found wanting somewhat, but was ultimately deemed not guilty in Kurtz’s Potemkin courthouse.

If the jury hearing Charles Manson’s case had found him guilty of vandalizing Sharon Tate’s house with her own blood but let him off on the murder charge itself, no one would be commending those jurors for getting the verdict on the lesser charges right, and yet this is essentially what Kurtz has done.

And if a media critic is still bending over backwards to avert his eyes to the most salient aspect of the most important story about the media in all of our lifetimes, then he’s still professionally negligent no matter how many half-baked semi-sorta glancing accuracies he manages to finally squeeze in his belated analysis addressing the subject, and he’s aiding & abetting the people he’s found not guilty of deliberately subverting the electoral process by finding them guilty on inconsequential misdemeanors nobody gives a damn about.

leilani on October 19, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Obama’s problem is pretty simple…he ran as an economic and political ‘moderate’…the problem was the media measured that ‘moderate’ as in the middle of the left, not middle of national political mood. They sold The media sold the idea of ‘moderate’. The public expected middle of the road…they got far left tax and spend old time liberal. The media is as responsible for failed expectations as anyone. They sold moderate and delivered extremist.

The people were not amused.

JIMV on October 19, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Well-put.

Friends, if you really want to know what people think and how they feel, just do what my wife & I do: run a small tax & accounting practice (300+ clients drawn from a rural metro area of about 30,000).

Starting over a year ago–but especially during Jan-April 2010 tax season–we heard it over & over again: “I didn’t vote for this.”

In November, we’re going to see people perform as much of an “unvote” as they can.

Owen Glendower on October 19, 2010 at 3:05 PM

I’m confused. Isn’t this a lot of butt covering by Kurtz? Isn’t he part of that main stream media he is talking about? I don’t recall him ever being sympathetic to the Tea Party or anyone connected to it. What a butt covering jerk he is…. I guess he can see November from his house too.

PhilipJames on October 19, 2010 at 3:26 PM

The coming blood bath of Democrats at the polls is NOT just due to voter anger with Dimocrits.

It’s also due to voter anger at the LSM.

The LSM – Waaaaaaaaay overreached into the territory of “snake oil” salesmen when they failed miserably to “vet” candidate Obama in 2008 – and, indeed – actually acted as his unofficial propaganda arm.

No one is listening to the LSM – and you can look at the ratings at Fox News for verification of that.

If you are a reporter, working in any capacity for the LSM – you have no credibility – it’s gone dude. You can convice the voters … ONE TIME … that the sky is green when it’s really not.

However, once they’ve figured out that you’re a liar – they’ll never trust you again.

In fact, the LSM now has “negative credibility” – anyone they “praise” is viewed with skepticism by the general public. Anyone they “condemn” is viewed with favor by the public. The LSM can make a candidate rise in the polls simply by denouncing him.

Which is why I’m looking to Palin vs Obama in 2012. Though I really think it will be Palin vs Hillary.

HondaV65 on October 19, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Media, Smedia, It was Obama himself who chose those Greek columns. The media bought the lies and spread them, or um, rather, the “good intentions.”

The media has shown it’s utter lack of critical thinking, and it’s reflexive buy into the Alinsky demonizing of the Republican party! I guess that is journalism education these days. All Alinsky, all the time.

I think there are a lot of “conservatives” who have also allowed the Alinsky demonization to convince them of the basic evilness of “RINOs”. Propaganda works, and much of the right has bought the Progressive propaganda, hook line and sinker.

There is no way, no how, Republicans have ever reached this level of corruption. Democrats sell babies lives for clout inside the Party machine! Nothing can compare to that evilness.

petunia on October 19, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Give me an option to get out all of the money I paid into SS so far and I’ll be pleased as punch to opt out of it.

Give me all the monies I paid into Medicare and I’ll opt out of that too.

OR

Allow me to defer and invest income without taxing it until I take it back as income, and I’ll opt out of Social Security in a heartbeat.

Allow insurers to compete across state lines and I’ll gladly opt out of Medicare.

Jason Coleman on October 20, 2010 at 11:50 AM