To make a judgment about every horse race, you always want to know ‘who won?’. But in the context of last night’s vice-presidential debate, it is also relevant to know ‘who lost?’. And in this case, you have to say that the mainstream media lost, BIG TIME.
Leading up to the debate, NBC’s political director Chuck Todd called the debate and the race as already over. That Gov. Sarah Palin lost the debate and McCain lost the race even before last night’s debate started. They characterized the debate as if, to use a boxing analogy, Sen. Joe Biden would win the match in the first minute of round one in a 15 round fight. Well, if you saw the debate last night, you have to agree that the fight went the distance. And if anyone got so much as a black eye, it was the 35 year defending champion Joe Biden. But in terms of this debate, a draw is a win for Palin.
Based on all the media hype leading up to the debate, you could come away feeling that Palin won only because she didn’t lose in the first round.
It does not take much to confirm the notion that 2008 is the year that journalism died. All one needed to do is to watch last night’s debate analysis on MSNBC immediately following the debate. Remember when journalism consisted of reporting what happened? The lineup on MSNBC last night took shots at Gov. Palin on ‘what she didn’t say.’ It looked like they tried to do in round sixteen what Joe Biden could not do in the first fifteen.