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Monday, January 18, 2010

How Will the Media Handle a Solid Brown Win?

The mainstream media has not made much of a secret about their feelings in favor of Obama. A solid win (by five or more points) by Brown would be one of the biggest political upsets in history. It would require that the news media try to explain how this could have happened. Will they make excuses for Obama and the Democrats or will they be honest and admit that the arrogant attitude on the part of the Democratic leadership had a lot to do with it? If they do what they have been doing, they will blame just Coakley and her campaign. While Coakley has indeed run an abysmal campaign, that alone cannot explain such an upset.

Massachusetts is the most Democratic state in the union if you do not count the District of Columbia as a state. Massachusetts has given the last three Democratic candidates for President an average of a 26.09% margin which is higher than any other state. It has not elected a Republican Senator since 1972. For a Republican senatorial candidate to ever carry this state would be a remarkable feat but to win the seat held by Teddy Kennedy for almost 50 years just boggles the mind. Now there is no reasonable way that the media can ignore these facts. This is their last chance to show that they have any integrity left and to retain some semblance of credibility. If they try to spin the significance of this political earthquake as anything but an utter repudiation of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda, they will be toast.

Right now they are hoping to get a pass by having Coakley somehow manage to squeak out a narrow victory. Three polls taken on Sunday are unanimous in showing Brown ahead. Two of them have him up by an identical 9.6% and the Public Policy Poll has him up by 5 points. The chance of their getting a pass is mighty slim. Even Obama said that a Brown win will seriously negatively impact his agenda which is why he went to Massachusetts to try and get Coakley over the finish line. Obama is the one who by his own words told the voters of Massachusetts that he needs them to elect Coakley to save his agenda. When Brown wins, how else can one honestly explain the results as anything but a repudiation of that agenda?

Based on their past performance, we suspect the mainstream media will not be pointing this fact out. In a way, that does not really matter since any Democrat elected federal politician will definitely draw the conclusion that if a Senate seat in Massachusetts is not safe, then no seat is safe any more. Since this election was in large part a referendum on the health care bill and the way it was jammed through Congress against united Republican opposition, health care will be a very hot potato for Democrats. More Democrats will either decide to retire or decide to vote against any compromise bill that is drafted even if they can bring it to a vote before Brown is seated. Any attempt to do that will have a tremendous fallout in November.

The bottom line is that this is the mainstream media's last chance to get a political story right. If they fail to do this, then a lot of liberal newspapers will be filing for bankruptcy in the near future. In television, the major networks will have a remarkable ratings drop off while Fox gains dramatically. So it comes down to ideology versus survival. Somehow we do not believe the mainstream media will see this as a matter of survival and will therefore take the ideological road. Oh well, this will merely hasten what will eventually happen anyway. With the internet readily available, who needs the mainstream media any more anyway?