There were 35 evening news stories that conveyed the message that conservative and tea party candidates were "extreme," "fringe," or "out of the mainstream." But there was not a single network story that spent one second of time to suggest that the conservatives asserted the Obama/Reid/Pelosi Democrats, responsible for the most radical legislative agenda in history, were "out of the mainstream."
When the voters went to the polls and rejected the Democrats, they were rejecting the Old Media as well.
Network reporters consistently implied or stated that Obama was already in the center of the political conversation, and the GOP was off-the-charts conservative. They applied 62 ideological labels, and 77 percent were aimed at conservatives, and only 23 percent were for liberals. Both Delaware's Christine O'Donnell and Alaska's Joe Miller were tagged as "ultraconservatives"; apparently, that's a synonym for the tea party, but no Democrat -- not one -- was ever branded an "ultraliberal."
In the Pennsylvania Senate race, CBS called Republican Pat Toomey "conservative," but Democrat Joe Sestak (American Conservative Union rating: zero) was not a "liberal." CBS stooped lowest by airing an entire story on loud-mouthed loser Alan Grayson (another ACU zero), but never called him a "liberal," despite his claim that the Republican health care motto was "Die Quickly." To the liberals in denial at CBS, Grayson wasn't "extreme" on anything, but they felt it necessary to tag his opponent Daniel Webster as "conservative."
Despite the thumping that Obama and his media supporters took at the polls, no conservative should think the media liberals will learn their lesson. Expect denial and resistance in 2011. They want Obama to declare, just for now, that he's heard the sound of the electorate. But expect another 1995-style onslaught, painting the Republicans as horror-movie shredders of everything good and noble about America.