so now the press tells candidates when to quit?

this diary is not about debating which candidate will or should win.  simply its about the shameful failure of the fourth estate. i suspect as mydd readers, we can all agree that the media has played a large role in shaping presidential primaries.  we saw it in 2000, 2004 (all to the detriment of the democratic party) and now again in 2008.  in a stunning article about the media during this election primary, eric boehlert at mediamatters discusses "how journalists have behaved during this campaign." and he names names!  as a former media student, i have said for a while now- and is now confirmed in this piece, that books will be written about the media's role in this democratic race.

history continues to unfold on many levels as the protracted democratic party primary race marches on, featuring the first woman and the first african-american with a real shot at winning the white house.  here's another first: the press's unique push to get a competitive white house hopeful to drop out of the race. it's unprecedented.

looking back through modern u.s. campaigns, there's simply no media model for so many members of the press to try to drive a competitive candidate from the field while the primary season is still unfolding.

until this election cycle, journalists simply did not consider it to be their job to tell a contender when he or she should stop campaigning. that was always dictated by how much money the campaign still had in the bank, how many votes the candidate was still getting, and what very senior members of the candidate's own party were advising.

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i realize the political debate surrounding the extended democratic campaign remains a hot one, with people holding passionate opinions about the delegate math involved and what the consequences for the democratic party could be. i'm not weighing in on that debate. i'm focusing on how journalists have behaved during this campaign.

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and the fact is, the media's get-out-now push is unparalleled. strong second-place candidates such as ronald reagan (1976), ted kennedy, gary hart, jesse jackson, and jerry brown, all of whom campaigned through the entire primary season, and most of whom took their fights all the way to their party's nominating conventions, were never tagged by the press and told to go home.

"clinton is being held to a different standard than virtually any other candidate in history," wrote steven stark in the boston phoenix. "when clinton is simply doing what everyone else has always done, she's constantly attacked as an obsessed and crazed egomaniac, bent on self-aggrandizement at the expense of her party." that represented just a fraction of the often offensive get-out-now proclamations that have become a staple of this campaign.

no longer content to be observers of the campaign, journalists now see themselves as active players in the unfolding drama, and they show no hesitation trying to dictate the basics of the contest, like who should run and who should quit. it's as if journalists are auditioning for the role of the old party bosses.

it's a new brand of political commentary that leaves some veteran journalists perplexed. "the idea that it's your job to tell candidates when to get out, and really trying to control the whole process -- putting it in the hands of the journalists or the reporters or the columnists -- i find that to be new and different," haynes johnson told me last week. a pulitzer prize-winning journalist, johnson has covered more than a dozen presidential campaigns and is currently working on a book about the unfolding 2008 contest.

johnson says he was astonished to read some early calls in march from the media for clinton to get out of the race. he was stunned by "the pomposity and the arrogance of it."

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indeed, a very strange leap has been made this year by lots of media commentators who argue against clinton's candidacy. rather than simply detailing her deficiencies and accentuating the strengths of her opponent, which political observers have done for generations, time and again we saw pundits take the unprecedented step of announcing not only that voters should not support clinton, but that she should also quit. she should stop competing.

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with clinton, though, the press seems to have almost complete disregard for the 14 million voters who have backed her candidacy, as well as the idea that she is their representative in this race. instead, they treat her entire campaign as some sort of vanity exercise in which voters do not exist.

i highly recommend that anyone who cares about the democratic party (no matter who you support) go and read the full article and sincerely hope that these 'journalists' get taken to task for their behavior.  for those that do not support HRC, maybe this article will shed some light on why so many of her supporters are so dismayed by what we are seeing unfold around us (omitting of course the state of the contest).  but ultimately what we have all witnessed is pretty revealing and makes one wonder why there has been a different standard applied here with this candidate than with anyone else in history...

http://mediamatters.org/columns/20080430 0001?f=h_column

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rolling around on their backs like ladybugs.

like it or not - the media has and will play a huge role in the election.  we saw it first with gore in 2000, then kerry in 2004 and now again in 2008.  in a great piece for vanity fair's james wolcott writes about the media and blogosphere. he addresses the media coverage in the democratic primary and the free pass being being given to john mccain. (incidentally a member of our very own mydd community, alegre is quoted in the article)

although hillary was the presumed front-runner going into the iowa caucuses and the new hampshire primary, she was never first in the affections of the blogosphere, as we shall see, or in the tin hearts of cable-news punditry's high-and-mighties. case in point: the critical moment when hillary teared up on the eve of the new hampshire primary, which some found a genuine crack in composure, others a glistening performance worthy of joan crawford--further confirmation of a calculating sham always angling for advantage. the garrulous msnbc host and gatling gun chris matthews was so egregious in his anti-hillary slant that he apologized after receiving a coast-battering storm of critical backlash, and colleague david shuster was put in the penalty box after asking if hillary had "pimped out" daughter chelsea. keith olbermann would later outdo both with an excoriating "special comment" on his msnbc show that accused her of being complicit in the race-baiting of obama: "voluntarily or inadvertently, you are still awash in this filth." perhaps no vilifier of hillary clinton traipses across the footlights with a bigger satchel of calumnies than andrew sullivan, who diagnosed mrs. clinton as "the hollowest form of political life," a "sociopath." his solo act had and has a symptomatic significance. published under the aegis of the atlantic's stable of notable byliners, sullivan's daily dish blog is must-reading among the media elite, those sheep. his words extend wider ripples in the ocean of emotion that passes for opinion journalism than did those of his fellow cobblers. in a column for the times of london entitled "the clintons, a horror film that never ends," sullivan compared hillary to glenn close's bunny boiler in fatal attraction--"whoosh! she's back at your throat!"--and the clintons as a couple to the fast-running zombies in 28 days later. "the clintons live off psychodrama," he contended in a classic pot-kettle-black moment.

what chafed hillary supporters was how many supposed liberal outposts chimed in with this chorus of abuse, from the op-ed pages of the new york times (where only paul krugman seemed to have a kind word as maureen dowd kept reminding readers of monica lewinsky's lipstick traces on the clinton saga, and gail collins seemed to be putting on some sort of puppet show) to the studios of air america (where hosts randi rhodes--who was suspended, then resigned, after calling clinton a "whore" at a public appearance--and thom hartmann kept the hostility percolating), to progressive internet mother ships such as joshua micah marshall's talking points memo and the huffington post, where even a notable progressive such as barbara ehrenreich tried to tar hillary with fascist associations. (the majority of huffpo's high-profile contributors were so over the rainbow about obama that it was as if they had found rapture in the poppy fields and were rolling around on their backs like ladybugs.)

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/featu res/2008/06/wolcott200806

for all that care (i am not one that does) there is a whole chunk dedicated to everyone's pal kos.  

books will be written on the disgraceful and unseemly media coverage of this election cycle and there will/should be a lot of `journalists' - and i use this term lightly - taken to task for their shoddy, hysterical and unethical reporting.

an oldie, but a goodie. enjoy - nothing but net!

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CNN: Hillary is a Bunny Cooker

Well, these blokes on cable TV just keep drivin' up the female vote for Hillary...Go for it, guys!  You have know idea how your sexism helps our GOTV efforts.  Dumbos.

Here's Ken Rudin, "NPR Political Editor" sharing a long guffaw with CNN's "Media Matters" moderator (sorry, don't know his name) after comparing Hillary to the stalker character played by Glen Close in "Fatal Attraction"....

Ok, all you gals (and enlightened guys)....donate your latte funds today, in honor of the Cable TV Asses (CTAs):

         

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the other shoe has fallen... on top of BO.

for those you that have read my diaries - i have been rallying against the biased media coverage of HRC for a while now.  well - it appears that the other shoe has fallen on top of BO.  

for us political junkies - we dont need vindication of this phenomenon, we see it all over the MSM.  but if we needed confirmation, here is some:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/24 /media-jump-ship-from-obam_n_98545.html

but when i was decrying the media for its coverage of HRC, very few here acknowledged this fact, claimed it was wrong, or cared.  but now that it affects BO, suddenly its deemed as the travesty that it is and deserving of attention.  seems suspect and hypocritical to me.

as elizabeth edwards said
"But I am saying that every analysis that is shortened, every corner that is cut, moves us further away from the truth until what is left is the Cliffs Notes of the news, or what I call strobe-light journalism, in which the outlines are accurate enough but we cannot really see the whole picture."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/opinio n/27edwards.html

BO supporters - welcome to the clinton rules.

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screw the voters hillary, the media wants you out!

not that dan abrams is the bastion of objectivity in this primary, but he has been one of the few voices that have been calling out the media in its bias against HRC.  

check out this segment on last night's verdict, talking about the pile-on HRC and the media bias even after she won PA.  

my favourite parts are:

1.  dan gives roy sekoff and the huffpo/media a smackdown for its  - lack of 'intellectual honesty' (you can hear dan laughing as roy stumbles to claim huffpo objectivity)

2.  dan says that in the media anything bad for BO is called a victory for JM

3.  dan asks if the gop nc ad is HRC's fault

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