I think it's a sign of how cynical I've become watching these 24 hour cable news networks that I saw this live and it didn't strike me as odd at all. It wasn't until John Cole at Balloon Juice called my attention to it that I realized how incredibly telling this whole exchange was.
Starting at about 1:50, when Heilman stated “Gingrich is going to get so much free media attention in the next few days, it is going to be wall to wall Gingrich, and I think it is fair to say, that the “liberal media,” as Gingrich would put it, is rooting for Gingrich right now. They want this ra.. they/we, want this race to go on, so he is gonna have, he is gonna get more attention and in some ways more favorable coverage, at least for the next couple days than he would ordinarily from people who would give him tougher scrutiny…”
It’s right [..]there in front of you. They are telling you their priority. It isn’t to inform or deal with facts- it is horse race and page hits.
You add this shamefulness to the concern trolling of Chuck Todd that Stephen Colbert is making a mockery of our electoral process and the NY Times actually wondering if fact-checking is part of their responsibility as journalists and you have a pretty insurmountable pile of evidence that the media is no longer the fourth estate designed to keep the government honest, but yet another obstacle in keeping Americans informed and democracy healthy. More Cole:
And Todd won’t ever tell you this, but he and the rest of the bobbleheads and their corporations don’t want the system fixed. They like it as a mess. If we were to hold elections like other civilized nations, we’d have public funding of them and they would last for a finite period. That would mean that billions of fewer dollars spent on advertising on places like NBC, CBS, ABC, and all the other media outlets. That would mean that Todd and others like him, who really add no value to the system, would be looking for legitimate work. Let’s face it, if these guys are terrified of stating the truth out of the fear of being called biased, what purpose do they actually serve at all? None. Not one person in the nation would be less informed than they are right now if you fired the whole lot of political operatives and political analysts. In fact, the opposite is true- they’d probably be more informed.