Via Mediaite. I take it the defense here will be that they weren’t rooting for Obama, just grooving on a righteous zinger expertly dealt even though it was incorrect on the merits. But maybe I’m wrong; maybe there’ll be no defense. The media’s gotten more forthright about its biases and shortcomings over the past 10 years thanks to the endless watchdogging online, so there’s no sense grasping for excuses. Why bother? Everyone knows the score. This isn’t the first time reporters have been caught rooting publicly against a Republican, either. The Seattle Times gave bloggers a week of laughs five years ago when they admitted that some staff members had cheered Karl Rove’s resignation; the editor reprimanded them for showing partisanship in a place as “sacred and magical” as the newsroom. A few days later, Joe Scarborough revealed that people in the MSNBC “newsroom” had booed Bush consistently through one of his SOTUs. When he told MSNBC prez Phil Griffin about it, Griffin supposedly “turned red very quickly” and put a stop to it. And that’s how MSNBC became the sober, studiously nonpartisan investigative news team that you know today.
Speaking of Fox and last night’s debate, it ended up being the highest-rated program in the network’s history, slightly ahead of their audience for the Palin/Biden debate in 2008. Total television viewers according to Nielsen’s preliminary estimate were 53.9 million, which is predictably way off the pace of the first and second debates. Too much competition last night with the NLCS and “Monday Night Football” and likely not enough interest in foreign policy. It may also be that low-information voters decided they didn’t need a third look at Romney. He killed in the first debate and was perfectly acceptable in the second, so he’d already cleared the bar of viability. And he knew it, which is why he was playing prevent defense.