headlines of tonight’s debate…
“Defensive Bush Fails to Make Case for Second Term, so Says Many Voters”.
“Bad News From Iraq Seen as Undercutting Bush Credibility”
“Kerry Now Seen as Decisive in Eyes of Many”.
“Foreign Leaders Critical of Bush Policies, Say Another Term Endangers World Peace”
“Bush: Many Questions Still Remain Over Guard Service”
“Bush Attacks Fail to Damage Kerry”
“Spin Artists Furiously Try to Minimize Impact of Bush Gaffes”
“Kerry Articulates Clear Vision Towards Iraq Conflict”
“Pollsters Predict Race to Narrow in Coming Days” and, finally,
“Having Lost Momentum, Bush Scrambles to Get Campaign Back on Track”.
All of the above could appear tomorrow morning, all of the above could ‘technically’ be accurate. ‘Many’ voters do question Bush, ‘many’ voters view Kerry as being decisive and having a clear vision, there are some open questions about Bush’s National Guard Service, Bush is very likely to say something that could use some clarifying, I’m sure that at least the DNC’s pollsters will be claiming the race will tighten, and no matter what happens tonight, some liberal talking head will claim Bush is in trouble.
Which brings me (finally) to the point of this post: the reporters and editors of the MSM have enormous discretion in how they decide to portray events such as tonight’s debate. Which aspect to cover, who to quote in support of their theme and so on. My thesis is that what they will write tonight will not only influenced by their liberal view of the world (Kerry good, Bush bad) but also by what they want to see happening tonight.
Just as a sports fan will invariably look to find something positive to say about their team – even in the middle of a 10 game losing streak, the MSM will be watching tonight looking for something positive to say about their candidate (Kerry, for anyone not paying attention) tomorrow morning.
Given how critical this upcoming debate is to Kerry’s chances of winning the election (I won’t bothering linking all of the stories that describe this as Kerry’s latest last chance), combined with the fact that upwards of 85% of the MSM watching tonight will be rooting desperately for Kerry to do well and for Bush to screw up, what is the likelihood that any of these editors and reporters will be the ones to put the final nail in the Kerry coffin?
That’s right, none.