Friday, April 25, 2008


That's my headline. Thomas Edsall's, at the Huffington Post, is a bit milder: "Media Jump Ship From Obama To Clinton." Either way, it's accurate.

In a blink of an eye, the media has jumped ship from the Obama campaign and become a crucial Clinton ally, pressing just the message -- that Obama is a likely loser in the general election -- that Hillary and her allies have been promoting for the past six weeks.

The new tenor of media coverage is visible almost everywhere, from Politico, Time and The New Republic to The Washington Post and The New York Times....

He's right; read his piece for the evidence and the pull quotes. The Clinton campaign's reading of poll numbers is now regarded as gospel truth, and her new champions -- the white working class -- are now regarded as The Only Voting Bloc That Matters.

And that helps explain why this is happening. We call George W. Bush "Bubble Boy," but most Beltway journalists are Bubble Boys and Girls -- they don't live among ordinary people, they don't socialize with ordinary people, and they mostly rely on polls and campaign spinners' e-mails sent to their BlackBerrys to help them figure out what ordinary people think, or even who ordinary people are.

So they thought Barack Obama was winning over everybody (because he was winning over people like themselves, or at least like their kids) -- and then Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire and they began showing a bit of interest in older women. That interest flagged during Obama's subsequent winning streak. But then Clinton started winning again, and her voting blocs now stood for every person in America reporters don't meet at parties in Georgetown.

Remember, years ago, when the press suddenly decided that everyone in flyover America must be a "values voter" -- based on one poll? Well, white working-class Democrats are the new values voters. Yes, attention must certainly be paid to them -- but they're not the entire electorate. (Nor do we know what they'll actually be thinking once this nomination fight is over, as Patrick Healy of The New York Times, breaking from the herd, pointed out yesterday.)

A little balance would have been helpful in the Obamania days, and a little balance would be helpful now.

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