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The MSM, Iraq and the Midterm Elections

Hugh Hewitt has a good post on the mainstream media's reporting in Iraq.

A large portion of the American public doesn't trust MSM coverage of Iraq because MSM coverage of Iraq almost always punts on context...

Some of the contempt for American media which is widely felt in the USA is rooted in the belief, widely shared, that MSM is invested in the failure of the Iraq invasion and in the idea that President Bush's policy is a catastrophe. MSM seems to be rooting for Iraq to turn out badly, and this does not sit well with the average American...

The takeaway: MSM wants Bush to fail, and as a result MSM's coverage of Iraq tilts to the IEDs and the terrorist successes and never, ever provides the context that the president did in the press conference today. The MSM thus allows itself to be used by the terrorists, and thus to hamper victory. MSM doesn't believe in "victory," in fact, or in Saddam's unique evil. It believes, mostly, in the necessity of humbling Bush.

But a majority of America voted for Bush. Which is why the collapse of MSM is ongoing. The opinion polling has once again seduced the opinion elite into believing that it knows better than the voters what America thinks.

If the GOP has the courage to keep the focus on the war and the threat, it will again triumph in November, 2006. The MSM is powerless to stop the voters from registering their real opinion.

There is some good political advice here for Republicans. Hewitt hits the nail on the head by saying, "If the GOP has the courage." Right now this remains an open question, as many on the right who had been standing firm with the President appear to be wobbling with the latest batch of poor polls and recent spate of negative news out of Iraq.

Politically, Hugh is correct that if Republicans have the courage to stand with the President and focus on the war they can triumph again in November (or at least mitigate their losses and keep Congress). Bush will never win over his critics on the left, but he can pull back some independents and disillusioned Republicans by publicly arguing his side of the Iraq story. But at the end of the day, the reality on the ground in Iraq is going to be the strongest determinant of whether the President will be able to keep that unified GOP support. And as long as he is able to keep Republicans on board, the Democrats are unlikely to recapture either the House or the Senate. However, if Republicans panic and ditch the President they can kiss control of the House goodbye.