The media’s Obama problem, when to jump off the bandwagon

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The media's Obama problem, when to jump off the bandwagon

As the demo­c­ra­tic party tries to recover from the twin blows of NV-​2 and NY-​9 there is one other group that is strug­gling to fig­ure out how to deal with the new radioac­tive Obama.

The Main­stream media wel­comed the arrival of Barack Obama as if all of their dreams and hopes were met, and warned of riot­ing and blood­shed if he was not elected. For three years they met every pro­nounce­ment of his as if they had come from the Lord himself.

As the econ­omy failed to rebound they still sup­ported him, as Oba­macare proved unpop­u­lar they still sup­ported him. As report after report brought bad news they pro­claimed it “unex­pected”. When a mas­sive grass-​roots move­ment (the tea party) rose up against him they min­i­mized and/​or attacked it. As every indi­ca­tion showed Amer­i­can Peo­ple were on the road to reject­ing him in 2010 they pooh poohed it and when the elec­tion results finally came in, they con­cen­trated their cov­er­age on two Sen­ate seats that had not been won by repub­li­cans in decades and at their first chance grabbed ahold of a 3 way race in NY-​26 where a demo­c­rat won with 47% to prove 2010 was a fluke.

As Repub­li­can after Repub­li­can sens­ing the weak­ness of this admin­is­tra­tion jumped into the pres­i­den­tial sweep­stakes, they min­i­mized and mocked the field insist­ing that this pres­i­dent would win re-​election in a walk. When protests in Wis­con­sin came they played them up and when they failed to stop Scott Walker they played his suc­cess down. When the debt ceil­ing debate came up they were con­vinced that the pres­i­dent was going to win…

…right up until the moment that he didn’t

As late as last week Thurs­day the media was still ignor­ing the sig­nals from NY-​9 but on Fri­day the first leaks in the dam started to appear, by Mon­day it was a tor­rent and by Wednes­day the media was in such a state of dis­be­lief that they seem­ingly could not say the words “NY-​9″ with­out utter­ing the words “NY-​26″ with them.

Now with Democ­rats in free-​fall and retreat, we find the pres­i­dent not even able to sal­vage the name of his Jobs plan let alone get Democ­rats in the Sen­ate to sup­port it. As the politi­cians who have some­thing to lose jump ship the MSM finds itself in a quandary.

Even the most jaded of them can see that the Obama admin­is­tra­tion has failed, failed to turn around the econ­omy, failed to sell itself to the peo­ple and reached the point where even mem­bers of the Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus are look­ing for a rea­son to run away.

If it was a ques­tion of cred­i­bil­ity it would not be an issue but the dirty lit­tle secret is the media knows their audi­ence is sim­ply a niche mar­ket ampli­fied only by their dimin­ish­ing con­trol of the infor­ma­tion deliv­ery sys­tem. A great exam­ple are Jon Stew­art and Col­bert. They don’t have to worry about amus­ing the gen­eral pub­lic, their tar­get audi­ence are the anchors of CNN and MSNBC and the drink­ing col­lege crowd and that’s OK. They are in the busi­ness of com­edy and sup­port­ing them­selves, NOT information.

For the media it is dif­fer­ent, they real­ize that out­side their NY, DC, Boston LA axis their views are not shared and their opin­ions are increas­ingly dis­trusted yet it in their enclaves that they make their living.

At some point for their own self-​respect they will have to acknowl­edge what already exists but the need to post­pone that moment to appease their niche audi­ence is always in front of them.

That ques­tion for the media: “Do we report the news or play to our niche?” is the story of the next 14 months. It will be a much more inter­est­ing story an elec­tion that seems to becom­ing a fore­gone conclusion.

As the democratic party tries to recover from the twin blows of NV-2 and NY-9 there is one other group that is struggling to figure out how to deal with the new radioactive Obama.

The Mainstream media welcomed the arrival of Barack Obama as if all of their dreams and hopes were met, and warned of rioting and bloodshed if he was not elected. For three years they met every pronouncement of his as if they had come from the Lord himself.

As the economy failed to rebound they still supported him, as Obamacare proved unpopular they still supported him. As report after report brought bad news they proclaimed it “unexpected”. When a massive grass-roots movement (the tea party) rose up against him they minimized and/or attacked it. As every indication showed American People were on the road to rejecting him in 2010 they pooh poohed it and when the election results finally came in, they concentrated their coverage on two Senate seats that had not been won by republicans in decades and at their first chance grabbed ahold of a 3 way race in NY-26 where a democrat won with 47% to prove 2010 was a fluke.

As Republican after Republican sensing the weakness of this administration jumped into the presidential sweepstakes, they minimized and mocked the field insisting that this president would win re-election in a walk. When protests in Wisconsin came they played them up and when they failed to stop Scott Walker they played his success down. When the debt ceiling debate came up they were convinced that the president was going to win…

…right up until the moment that he didn’t

As late as last week Thursday the media was still ignoring the signals from NY-9 but on Friday the first leaks in the dam started to appear, by Monday it was a torrent and by Wednesday the media was in such a state of disbelief that they seemingly could not say the words “NY-9” without uttering the words “NY-26” with them.

Now with Democrats in free-fall and retreat, we find the president not even able to salvage the name of his Jobs plan let alone get Democrats in the Senate to support it. As the politicians who have something to lose jump ship the MSM finds itself in a quandary.

Even the most jaded of them can see that the Obama administration has failed, failed to turn around the economy, failed to sell itself to the people and reached the point where even members of the Congressional Black Caucus are looking for a reason to run away.

If it was a question of credibility it would not be an issue but the dirty little secret is the media knows their audience is simply a niche market amplified only by their diminishing control of the information delivery system. A great example are Jon Stewart and Colbert. They don’t have to worry about amusing the general public, their target audience are the anchors of CNN and MSNBC and the drinking college crowd and that’s OK. They are in the business of comedy and supporting themselves, NOT information.

For the media it is different, they realize that outside their NY, DC, Boston LA axis their views are not shared and their opinions are increasingly distrusted yet it in their enclaves that they make their living.

At some point for their own self-respect they will have to acknowledge what already exists but the need to postpone that moment to appease their niche audience is always in front of them.

That question for the media: “Do we report the news or play to our niche?” is the story of the next 14 months. It will be a much more interesting story an election that seems to becoming a foregone conclusion.