November 24, 2008

We knew even before the election that the right was going to be trying to delegitimize Barack Obama's and the Democrats' electoral victory, since it would be their only hope of hanging on to their own few rapidly vanishing strands of legitimacy, not to mention relevance.

Well the whole "ACORN used fraud to win" meme that was originally favored in this role didn't pan out so well, given the size and breadth of the victory.

So now they're going for the tried and true: The Librul Media Made Us Do It. That, after all, was the underlying meme in that phony Zogby poll intended to make Obama supporters look stoopid. It's looking like a desperate grasp at the strawman.

Mark Halperin, the onetime ABC News honcho now writing for Time, was out there yesterday doing his best to help. He told a crowd that the media bias in Obama's favor this election was overwhelming:

"It's the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war," Halperin said at a panel of media analysts. "It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage."

Yeah, all that media silence about Jeremiah Wright, while they couldn't seem to stop talking about Pastor Hagee -- that was so biased! ... What's that? That's not what happened? I guess Halperin has me confused.

Now, it's probably true that the media coverage tended to make Obama look like a principled, thoughtful leader, and McCain look like a gimmick-driven hack willing to say or do anything to get elected. But then, that might be because McCain's campaign itself -- from taking on an unqualified dimwit like Sarah Palin as a running mate to dragging out Joe the Plumber at every stop -- made him look that way. As Colbert says, reality does tend to have a liberal bias.

But I have to say, Halperin's line that this was "the most disgusting failure in our business since the Iraq war" is a real piece of chutzpah.

Because when there was a chance for the media to do something about properly informing the public about the Iraq war, Halperin -- who had the reins of one of the three major network's news operations at the time -- did nothing. The media's coverage of the war, particularly during the critical runup period, was in fact a historic case of misfeasance that has had disastrous consequences for the nation. And Mark Halperin was a major player in that failure.

But then, we all pretty well know what's going on here -- after all, Halperin largely revealed his own bias back when he went on Hugh Hewitt's radio show and sucked and begged for Hewitt's respect as someone who really, really wants to get the conservative point of view across. Eric Boehlert had the definitive rundown, including this keen bit of Halperinesque wisdom:

As an economic model, if you want to thrive like Fox News Channel -- [if] you want to have a future -- you better make sure conservatives find your product appealing.

Halperin's become a predictable spewer, in fact, of right-wing talking points. He even does them one better -- he'll spew memes that not even the most obsequious Republican will touch. After all, he was probably the only pundit in all of America who actually thought McCain won that third debate. And he somehow thought that McCain's gaffe about forgetting how many houses he owned was actually the worst moment of the campaign ... for Obama.

As far as staying in front of the curve, though, he's got a problem. Witness, for instance, his extended homage to Karl Rove, published in 2006 ... just when it started becoming apparent that the GOP's resident "genius" had in fact screwed the party over for many, many years to come by saddling it with a legacy of disastrous policymaking.

I expect Halperin thinks that all this sucking up still makes his work more marketable. Yet I've got a hunch his old vision of his future, is looking a little, ah, anachronistic these days.

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