The media is supposed to watch the government, but who monitors the media?
That’s what I was asking myself this morning, after I had fully digested Tim Russert’s shocking midnight announcement on Tuesday that the Democratic Party’s primary was over. Russert is the host of the most prestigious Sunday morning news talkie, Meet the Press, so he is a big player in the world of political coverage, and his word is paramount.
The establishment took its cue. Twenty-four hours later, every commentator of note had declared the race over. Today, Time Magazine is releasing a cover story titled “And the Winner Isâ€¦” accompanied by a glamour shot of the anointed nominee, Senator Barack Obama.
But there’s a problem: the race isn’t over! Senator Obama doesn’t have the requisite number of delegates to win the nomination outright. In fact, he doesn’t even have a majority. What is more, he hasn’t been all that effective in the states that the Dems need to win if they are to beat Senator John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee.
The Wednesday morning headlines should have read: “Candidates Split; Race Goes On.” Instead, Senator Clinton was buried by the media. Who would support her campaign now that every new political story touches upon the fact that a “deluded” Clinton is doomed? And without money, the lifeblood of politics, there can be no campaign.
Yogi Berra could probably say it best, but I’ll give it a try: This one’s over, not because it’s over, but because they say it’s over.
To be sure, I am no fan of Senator Clinton. Her style of politics repulses me. But I am even more disgusted by a media establishment that thinks it knows best.
You see, I am a global warming “denier” because energy poverty frightens me more than rising temperatures. So I empathize with Hillary, because all too often, the media decides to take the ball out of my hands, too.
Take Arianna Huffington, whose hugely popular website, the Huffington Post, dominates the policy blogosphere. While promoting her new book, she has been telling reporters that the media should not report both sides of the global warming debate. Her rationale? According to Huffington, it doesn’t serve the public’s interest. In effect, she is admitting that she thinks she knows what’s best for the public.
Huffington and Russert both labor under the misapprehension that what they believe is what we should believe. Unfortunately, they are indicative of their peers. The media’s inability to separate reporting from preaching has cost the Democratic Party a fair primary, and it is robbing American voters of honest debate on global warming.