The mainstream media’s hurting today. After winning the election for Barack Obama, the media felt all-powerful and invulnerable. Then they watched New Media completely own a story they were desperate to cover up — the story of the violence and racism at the hands of pro-union protesters in Michigan. Then, to add insult to injury, yesterday the media discovered they weren’t all-powerful enough to protect Susan Rice.
Under pressure from a New Media demanding answers the mainstream media doesn’t want — Why did four Americans die in Libya? — yesterday, Susan Rice took her name out of consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Immediately, NBC’s Chuck Todd had something of a tantrum against conservative media:
It was all driven, in many cases, by some conservative outlets who were making her the center of the Benghazi story… the idea that she belonged in the center of those attacks never made a lot of sense.
Translation: Yes, Susan Rice went on five national news outlets to further a narrative about Libya we all knew wasn’t true at the time, but she deserves to be Secretary of State because Obama wants her to be Secretary of State and Obama should get whatever he wants because he’s the Lightbringer and I hope New Media gets hit by a train. Hold me, I’m scared.
In Todd’s fevered mind, Rice was in no way a victim of her obvious willingness to spread what everyone knew was misinformation, or her inability to use her diplomatic skills to win over even the squishiest of Republican Senators. No, Rice was a victim of that awful New Media.
How absurd is Todd’s claim? So absurd that even the Washington Post called him out:
Attributing someone’s failures to the absence of spin staff is monumental inside-the-Beltway groupthink. The Erik Wemple Blogger looks forward to availing himself of that excuse in the future.
Rice ended up in the “center of those attacks” because she came forward in multiple talk show appearances and gave the official line on Benghazi. That may not be just, but it’s far from nonsensical, as Todd argues.
The “conservative outlets” line of explanation suggests that Rice didn’t face any skepticism from non-conservative outlets. Such wasn’t quite the case.
The media might have won the 2012 election, but this is a long war, a war of inches; and every day New Media’s influence continues to grow.
This fact freaks guys like Chuck Todd out.
And it should.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC