The Media Conspiracy to Make Hillary Clinton Look Competent


Exhibit A: The spin over Geffen-gate. Last week David Geffen, a former Clinton donor, bashed Clinton after hosting a fundraiser for Barack Obama. The Clinton campaign demanded Obama give back Geffen's money for saying terrible, hateful, untrue things like she's an "incredibly polarizing figure." Obama said "No, and what's with you getting support from a moron who thinks I'd doom the Democratic ticket because I'm half black?" Media conventional wisdom: Gosh, Hillary's advisors are smart! They snatched away Obama's halo; victory's now assured.

The first major poll since the Geffen dustup comes out: Hillary's traded a 24-point lead over Obama for a 12-point lead. That major coup in scoring dopey South Carolina state Sen. Robert Ford has resulted in… a 51-point flip in black support from Clinton to Obama. Black voters who backed Clinton 60 to 20 now back Obama 44 to 33.

Exhibit B: James Carville's obsession with Al Gore. For the umpteenth time, Carville says Gore will run for president. Pundits spin this analysis by a guy who has no connection to the Gore camp as… big news! Left ignored is what an incredibly telegraphed punch this is. The Clinton camp believes it's losing something when Obama is the hot topic in the NYT, Imus, the usual organs of east coast punditry. It wants Gore to at least be the focus of hype, at most enter the race and snuff out Obama's challenge. Important caveat: This does not make sense. Gore is included in voter polls about who they want to win the Democratic nomination, and he scores in the low teens, at most. As Howard Mortman points out, actual humans are not buzzing about Gore's Oscar. They're buzzing about Rudy on one side and Obama on the other.

These are two examples of a somewhat benign liberal media bias. Reporters 1) like the Clintons and 2) can buy vacation homes in Rehoboth with the revenue Clinton stories bring their publications. (This isn't really hyperbole, as Sussex county appraisers are really lazy)* While it's often silly to focus on polling so far out of an election, knowing this it'd be even sillier to focus on what the big political pundits are analyzing. (For better analysis see Kaus on Geffen, Geraghty on the black vote.)

*rewritten for clarity