It really is that simple for Time's Mark Halperin, who thinks it's news today that GOP talker Rush Limbaugh really, really liked the convention speeches last night.
New press release out today from McCain's camp which contains a laundry list of quotes from, yes, media elites, who praised Palin's speech last night. The press release is supposed to reinforce the narrative of how successful Palin's performance was Wednesday night.
But as Michael Calderone at Politco point out, isn't it odd for the suddenly anti-media McCain camp to be swooning because anchors and pundits at ABC and AP wrote up good reviews for Palin? Republicans have been stressing for weeks how those journalists are so out of touch. But when they toast Palin, suddenly the pundits offer insights into America's soul?
Of course, the media hosannas Palin won for her speech only made more of a mockery of the McCain's team weak argument that the press is out to get him and his running mate.
51% say reporters are trying to hurt Palin, according to the latest Rasmussen poll.
MSNBC has spent all morning (and all night last night) assessing the theater of Sarah Palin's speech. They've taken a pass on assessing the content, or fact-checking Palin's claims. Instead, they keep speculating about whether Palin's speech would be successful with regular Americans (and almost universally agreeing it would.)
If they're going to focus entirely on the theater and on whether the speech will appeal to Middle America, maybe they should tell us how actual people reacted to it? The Detroit Free Press and Huffington Post have articles about focus groups that found undecided and independent voters weren't particularly impressed.
No, instead we're treated to a bunch of highly paid coastal elites like Brian Williams telling us how people in Middle America will react to the speech. Well ... how does he know? He doesn't. We'd be better served if the media would scrutinize the content and accuracy of the speech than guessing at how it will be recieved. But if they're going to focus on the speech's reception, they could at least include some actual reactions from actual undecided voters rather than presuming to speak for them.
UPDATE: After this post, MSNBC finally got around to telling us how some viewers reacted to Palin's speech -- people in Sarah Palin's hometown. After telling us that Sarah Palin's friends and neighbors liked her speech and dislike criticism of her, reporter Savannah Guthrie did admit "You can't expect this town to be objective." Right. So maybe MSNBC could find some people who are objective and tell us how they reacted?
Tristero compares the New York Times' coverage of convention speeches by Palin & Biden:
In his opening paragraphs, John Broder wrote a nearly completely objective report of Biden's speech. Bumiller and Cooper used almost every possible rhetorical device they could pack in to two grafs to signal their support not only for Palin but also for the "scrappy, rebellious former prisoner of war in Vietnam whose campaign was resurrected from near-death a year ago."
A McClatchy newspaper editor offers some advice.
The questions keep coming.
On Wednesday night due to the scheduling: Very little air-time for pundits in primetime. Can't say we minded.
Christy Hardin Smith at FDL