The "mainstream" news media makes it easier for fools to rise to positions of power in the Democratic party.
Back in the wilderness days of the Internet in the late '90s, I used to read a conservative website called Washington Weekly. They once ran an article advancing this theory that the bias and partisanship of the media helps the GOP. They pointed out that Republicans in DC have to learn quickly to be ever vigilant. If a member of the GOP lets down his guard, he gets hammered by the press. If a Democrat says something really stupid, he gets a pass.
At Glennreynolds.com, Glenn wrote yesterday about Senator Barack Obama as a new star in the Democratic party. He shines, in part, because the Democrats have so many fools like Barbara Boxer, Joe Biden, Patty Murray, Ted Kennedy et al in the Senate. Obviously, if the press did a responsible job of covering both sides of the aisle, the fools would falter before they made it to leadership roles. In fact, they would likely fail to move through the local and state political levels to get to DC in the first place.
A wise Republican such as President Bush correctly perceives that the news media is his enemy. They want to defeat him and they want to defeat his policies. So he makes sure that he, and his subordinates, never forget that. Over the years, the result is a stronger, tougher, better-focused politician.
Dukakis, Gore and Kerry were woeful campaigners, in part, because they had never been really tested in their careers. And none of the other Democrats in the primaries last year was any better.
Can you imagine the meltdown we would see if a Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Al Sharpton, Al Gore or John Kerry were ever subjected to the kind of intense, negative scrutiny that Republicans routinely endure? Imagine John Kerry running as a Republican. Think of him trying to deal with an antagonistic press corps in full gotcha mode hounding him relentlessly about a dishonorable discharge, illegal meetings with the enemy in Paris, aiding the enemy's propaganda efforts and torture of US POWs, discussing plots to assassinate US senators, Christmas in Cambodia, exaggerated claims of Vietnam bravery and wounds, claiming credit for the heroism of others, the knowing use of fraudulent praise from Vietnam vets at the convention, subornation of perjury in Winter Soldier testimony, etc.
His head might have exploded.