This isn’t intended as a criticism of Chris Matthews or his statement about Sarah Palin; in fact, he’s exactly correct in this analysis. If Palin decides to run for President and scores big in Iowa, survives in New Hampshire, and can go big in South Carolina, she will have a strong lead for the Republican nomination. Actually, that’s not exactly news, since that’s also the strategy for Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty (who is spending three days in Iowa), and anyone else seeking the Republican nomination. Matthews is also not wrong about what will happen if Palin manages to do it (emphasis mine, courtesy of Greg Hengler):
An early knockout is the way she can win. The media will try to destroy her, of course, but if she goes early, wins early, I think she can win it before anyone can stop her.
Of course they will! Notice that no one objects to this characterization of the media on this panel of, er, media personalities. No one questions whether that is actually the media’s job, to intentionally try to destroy political candidates. It’s all just a given. Palin runs, media will attempt to destroy her — and it serves as an implicit admission that the media did exactly that in 2008.