Yet more documentation of the symbiotic relationship between the Republican Party and our legacy media, from a RNC recent press conference featuring Michael Steele’s less-than-totally justified gloating over, among other things, losing a longtime New York congressional seat to a Democratic candidate:
Cheeky RNC officials asked the reporters to wear stickers identifying them as RNC “contractors.”
Well, we knew that all along, didn’t we, Mr. Steele?
— Jonathan Martin, writing for The Politico, has a lengthy history of activism with the Republican Party in Virginia and Connecticut.
— The Associated Press’ Washington bureau chief is Ron Fournier, who’s not only a good buddy of Bush advisor Karl Rove, but very nearly became John McCain’s official press secretary for McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. (To judge from his articles, he apparently settled for being McCain’s unofficial press secretary.)
— And of course there’s Republican activist and paid male, um, escort James “Jeff Gannon” Guckert, whose two-year presence as “Talon News correspondent” in the Bush White House’s press corps didn’t cause the Villagers any heartburn, an amusing thing to remember in light of the attacks launched by the Villagers at Obama for giving reality-based bloggers like TPM a place at the press corps’ table.
Oh, and by the way — Remember how FOX claimed that Obama’s calling them out caused their ratings to spike upwards, and how the rest of the traditional media parroted this unquestioningly, leading to “Obama screwed up by attacking FOX” stories? Guess what: They were lying.
No matter how many times reporters and pundits made the claim, a detailed analysis of Nielsen ratings numbers clearly indicates that in the two weeks after the White House in mid-October sparked a media controversy by claiming Rupert Murdoch’s channel was not a legitimate news organization, Fox News’ ratings did not soar or go “through the roof.” In fact, not only did Fox News’ overall ratings not soar, they experienced no significant increase at all. Instead, in the two weeks following the initial verbal jousts with the White House, Fox News’ total day ratings virtually flatlined.
Think about it. The unfolding controversy, which gobbled up untold hours and pages of news coverage as the Beltway press treated the dispute like a major news event (even though news consumers couldn’t care less), and the hubbub barely moved the ratings needle one inch in Fox News’ favor.
Another example of the Beltway press not letting the facts get in the way of a good story? It sure looks that way. In this case, we saw nearly universal agreement among media elites that the White House decision to publicly call out Fox News was monumentally dumb, thin-skinned, short-sighted, and uncivil.
(Paging the etiquette police!)
But of course, the folks I refer to as the GOP/Media Complex aren’t going to let the truth interfere with their escalating their attacks on Obama. Can’t let a Democrat think he’s got the same rights as a Republican, you know!