The 2008 presidential election was a remarkable experience for conservatives. The mainstream media, in an unprecedented way, went into the tank for Candidate Obama. Not one discouraging word was allowed to disturb the narrative of a moderate post-partisan healer who was a test of America's readiness to elect its first black president.
Now, as Hugh Hewitt writes, the MSM is covering for President Obama's weaknesses and mistakes.
The president preaches fiscal restraint but advanced a reckless budget and refuses to suggest any entitlement reform. The MSM is silent.
The president imposed Obamacare on an unwilling country and then issues more than a thousand waivers to the friends of Obama and the politically connected. The MSM is silent.
And now with gas prices soaring and an angry population turning their political fury on the president, he runs from the responsibility which is surely his and claims childlike wonder at the idea that his no-growth/no-oil policies are to blame. And the MSM is silent.
Personally, I believe that the mainstream media is making a grand-strategic mistake on this. I think that the MSM needs to maintain its image as non-partisan, while bowing to the liberal line on occasion. In 2012, with a substantial army of moderates upset and reacting against the Obama first term, there is going to be a stunning opportunity to ramp up the ratings if you are pushing a center-right agenda. There is just going to be a huge demand for media that is sharply critical of the president.
The big thing in politics is that ordinary people need to feel that someone in power hears their concerns. People don't expect miracles from the political system. But they do want to feel that someone is willing to listen.
The way things are shaping up it looks as if moderate voters will be looking for media that reflects their concerns, and they won't find it from "the MSM is silent" media that is protecting President Obama from criticism. Willy nilly, they'll be finding their way to FoxNews and the various other center-right media.
By the winter of 2013 we could be talking about another step-change in news viewership, as frustrated citizens turned in 2012 from an "MSM is silent" media to a media that, while it may not be perfect, at least seems to be listening.