Writing for the New York Times about the game-changing Tea Party victory over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Tuesday, David Carr credits local media, along with conservative talk radio and Breitbart News, for reporting on the potential for an upset while the DC media remained “prisoner[s] of Washington’s tunnel vision.”
Carr employed special mockery for the left-wing Politico, a site that prides itself ON obsessing over every move and shake in D.C. Writing about the biggest upset of the decade — which they missed completely — Politico headlined a piece on Dave Brat’s victory, “Brat’s Secret Weapon.”
The secret Politico refers to is conservative talk radio. Carr writes in response:
…to which, we might ask, secret to whom? About 50 million people in America listen to talk radio, much of it from conservative commentators like Mark Levin, Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham.
They may represent a significant slice of Vox Populi, but they aren’t on heavy rotation in most newsrooms. Conservative talk radio blows a whistle that many journalists either can’t hear or don’t want to listen to.
Carr goes on to credit Breitbart News, as well:
The same goes for Breitbart.com, which sent a reporter to Mr. Cantor’s district. He stayed there because he noticed something the polls did not — that Mr. Cantor was seldom seen during the race.
It has been fascinating to watch the D.C. media this past month. When Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times, was fired, the D.C. media moved like a pack of wolves to aggressively get their own piece of the carcass. An aggressive competition involving almost everyone in media consumed the news cycle to see who could out-scoop the others. Those who didn’t get the scoop would then rush to be the first to tweet out that scoop.
The Abramson story was a legitimate story, but it was only a story worthy of that kind of aggressive frenzy within the elite media’s bubble. Meanwhile, there has never been a tenth of that kind of reportorial energy directed at the many unanswered questions surrounding Benghazi and the IRS.
Moreover, just one state over, a political earthquake was brewing that must have been too hard for the D.C. media to see over a pile of obituaries written about the death of the Tea Party.