They could try reporting on objective reality. Many people would respond favorably to that, but it sounds really really hard - those cocktail weenies are soooo tasty. (I personally think it's more a matter of top-down corporate directives on What To Report, but there is definitely a Kewl Kidz and Kewl Kidz wannabe vibe as well)
I don't see any easy way to "fix" the media - I wish there was. De-consolidation would help, some liberal ownership would help. I'm skeptical about returning the Fairness Doctrine, because I think it could be gamed and used as a figleaf; i.e., Lieberman or Joe Klein presents the "liberal view" on the issue.
I think the best outcome we can hope for is the one you've just pointed to: That people start realizing that the media are corrupt and useless, and start looking for alternatives. Unfortunately, what that poll doesn't tell us is whether the people who don't trust the media think it has a liberal bias or a conservative bias.
If a majority still believe the Republican meme that the (corporate-owned) media somehow has a liberal bias and adjust and seek alternatives accordingly, then that's a huge problem. It would also dictate which direction the media's course-correction-for-credibility will be. I don't really want to see an army of Halperins stampeding to the even-farther right.
Chris, will you be doing any kind of postmortem analysis after the election to review how progressive candidates did relative to establishment DSCC/DCCC/DLC candidates? Not just wins and losses, but whether they underperformed or outperformed recent historical Dem performances in each state/district?
That may be too much work; I would just like to see some kind of concrete evidence we could point to to tell the Democratc establishment that their plan isn't working, and ours is.
Younger people who follow politics closely are used to Republicans winning. I remember brutal Republican landslides from 1984, 1988 and 1994. I remember Republicans pulling out tight elections in 1998, 2002, and 2004. In my experience, with few exceptions, Republicans have consistently won elections, while Democrats have consistently lost.
It's not just the poor track record at the polls, it's the poor track record of the polls. It seems like the actual election results are almost always worse than all the available polling data, so it's become hard for me to be optimistic about anything less than a 10-point lead.
I thought the blogger who said his predictive rule of thumb was to always add 5% to the poll numbers of "the evil candidate" was pretty spot-on.
Dunno if this trend says something about turnout, or relative willingness to talk to pollsters, or something more sinister (not counting exit polls, where I consider discrepancies to be pretty damn fishy, especially when they're all in the same direction).
The sad irony to all of this thuggery is that Joe's character (or illusion thereof) was always one of his selling points. People could say, "Well, I don't agree with Lieberman on a lot of things, but I know he's a good and decent man." (Yes, I know that sounds kinda familiar)
Joe's pretty much pissed all that moral goodwill away.