It's probably safe to say that Howard Kurtz is the most prominent member of his disreputable clan, the media critics. He analyzes the press full-time for the Washington Post, one of the few national papers left, while the Times has no one regular press critic. Kurtz also has a tv show of his very own! How did he swing such a cushy job? By regularly producing the kind of trenchant media analysis on display in today's column, about a magical fantasy world in which Barack Obama is losing. In this bizarro universe, the Obama campaign is poorly managed, beset by gaffes, and the candidate is a national joke. It's really useful thought exercise, if you're into thinking about things that don't relate to reality. This is his thesis:
My point isn't that these were all terrible mistakes, although some of them may have been. It's that these strategic moves would look very different if Obama was on the verge of losing, while McCain would be garnering praise for, say, throwing himself into the bailout negotiations and rolling the dice with Palin. When a candidate is winning, the media treat his tactical decisions as sheer brilliance. When a candidate is faltering, not so much.
Do you see how much sense that makes? When a candidate is winning, the media makes the campaign look competent and smart! When a candidate is losing, the media keeps talking about the campaign's mistakes! It's almost like the media is biased against tactics that don't work? For some reason, things that get results are better than things that don't! Crazy!