"Absolutely," most reporters want John Kerry to win the election, declares Newsweek's Evan Thomas, commenting on the media bias he says translates into "maybe" five extra points for the Democratic ticket at the polls. That's down from the 15 points Thomas first predicted Fourth Estate favor would bestow on Kerry-Edwards, but even five points could tip a race as close as this one.
Which is a chilling thought -- but also a golden opportunity. It means that a vote for Bush-Cheney is not only a vote against Kerry-Edwards, but also a vote against Kerry-Edwards-CBS-CNN-New York Times.
Are you incensed over Dan Rather's crude attempt to influence the presidential election with a sheaf of pathetic forgeries? Appalled by "Nightline"'s Ted Koppel for using dictatorship-vetted sources in communist Vietnam to contradict the testimonies of decorated American veterans? Outraged by ABC's head-office directive to its reporters to go easier on John Kerry than George W. Bush, and not "reflexively and artificially hold both sides 'equally' accountable"? Don't get mad, vote Republican.
The fact is, never before have mainstream media (MSM) organizations -- and I mean the hunters and gatherers of news, not its cooks and consumers -- sunk so deep in the tank for a Democratic ticket.
The election is days away but vital questions about Kerry remain not just unanswered in MSM outlets, but unasked -- evidence of the efficiency with which the only-selectively adversarial media have embraced the role of Democratic star-maker, not newsmaker.
"It's up to Kerry to defend himself, of course," ABC News political director Mark Halperin admits in a "1984"-style directive leaked to the Drudge Report. "But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying..." -- gee, thanks a lot -- "now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right."
And how's that done -- by covering for Kerry? Given what we still don't know about the candidate after his practically incessant blathering, including three debates, this becomes the inescapable conclusion. And I don't just mean de-emphasizing such Kerry facts as his inexplicable failure to attend three-quarters of his public Senate Intelligence Committee hearings. Or failing to ponder the coincidence that Kerry cousin C. Stewart Forbes' company won a $900 million contract from Vietnam after Sen. Kerry pushed to normalize relations.