I’m not sure if we file this one under a refreshing trend of honesty in the media this election cycle, or simply a case of everyone having become so immersed in the day to day reality of political news coverage that they’ve just stopped caring or trying to pretend. Either way, Time Magazine’s very own Mark Halperin delivered a rather frank assessment of the state of media coverage of the White House this weekend during an appearance on The Today Show.

“The Obama folks clearly know they’ve found some traction on this tax return issue with Romney,” said NBC’s Lester Holt. “And then of course late in the week comes this challenge–‘give us a little more and we won’t complain anymore.’ Has this issue come to the point it’s jumped the shark?”

“I think the press still likes this story a lot, the media is very susceptible to doing what the Obama campaign wants, which is to focus on this,” said Halperin.

That might be a bit much to believe just reading it here, so let’s go to the video.

You’ll notice there’s one other quote in there worth noting, re: Mitt’s tax returns:

Do voters care about it? I don’t think so. The economy is still top, front and center, this Medicare debate is important, it’s mostly something that the press and insiders care about. It’s an important issue of transparency, but there are other, bigger issues in the campaign.

Did somebody slip something in Halperin’s coffee? Will he still be employed at Time and be invited back to ABC this time next week? Stay tuned for another exciting episode of, As The Pundit Turns.