Many columnists like to make predictions. That includes me.
But, I didn’t even think of prognosticating that the national liberal media, on the eve of the midterm elections, would become critics of Democrats they have historically supported, protected and promoted.
If I had, I would have been dismissed as delusional. As it turns out, I would have also been right.
When using the term liberal to characterize much of the mainstream print and electronic media, I ruffle some feathers. Nevertheless, the label fits, and a recent report in The Washington Post confirms it.
Citing the latest results in The American Journalist in the Digital Age — a survey conducted by professors of journalism at Indiana University since 1971 — journalists who choose a side and identify themselves as Democrats outnumber Republicans by a ratio of four to one.
That’s the largest disparity ever recorded in the survey.
Let’s take a look at just a few examples of what we’ve been seeing in recent days.
Beginning with President Obama, the media appear to have finally acknowledged that his low popularity among citizens across the country actually reflects his failed leadership in about every area of domestic and foreign policy.
Few of his fellow Democrats facing serious Republican challengers in either house of Congress want his help. That is a profound statement that they fear being identified with him.
Republican candidates everywhere are doing something their rivals are not doing. They are running ads connecting their opponents with the president.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has even used NBC’s Chuck Todd’s critical analysis of McConnell’s Democratic challenger’s refusal to say whether she voted for President Obama. Todd said she had “disqualified herself” in the campaign.
Todd later criticized McConnell for putting him in one of his ads — an indication that journalists on the left may be checking themselves.
Syndicated liberal editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich acknowledged the phenomena in one of his pictures worth a thousand words.
A few days ago he published a devastating drawing of the president and his younger daughter approaching the door to her school on the day of open house. Sasha says to her father, “I’m in a close race for hall monitor, so we don’t know each other. …”
Perhaps the greatest evidence of the media turning on a Democratic candidate can be found in our own state’s gubernatorial race.
By now, everyone has seen Wendy Davis’ “wheelchair ad” on television or across the Internet.
The historically left-leaning Time magazine awarded her miserable commercial its prize as the “most ill-advised political ad of 2014.” Time went on to say “the ad comes off as a rather desperate attempt to garner attention” for a candidate who is trailing her opponent by a significant distance in the polls.
Even the furthest left of them all, MSNBC, piled on with the chorus of boos over the ad. The Morning Joe crew called the gamble “a huge blunder,” said that Texas Democrats were “appalled by the ad” and put up a graphic showing a New York Times/CBS News poll with Abbott leading by 14 points.
The conversation also made reference to the original plan of Davis leading the move to turn Texas blue. Now the MSNBC talkers are predicting a loss for Davis worse than the last time a Democrat tried to win the governor’s office. They said she was going to get “creamed.”
I’m still surprised by all this — pleasantly so.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. firstname.lastname@example.org