Time.com’s James Poniewozik writes about last night’s primary coverage. Though, he writes mostly about MSNBC…
People sometimes criticize pundits for behaving as if elections were all about them. But Chris Matthews of MSNBC had a special treat last night: he was told, on his own network, that last night’s upset decision in New Hampshire really was all about him. Air America’s Rachel Maddow told him that posters at Talking Points Memo were citing resentment of Matthews, by name, as a driving force in the vote for Hillary Clinton. “People feel that the media is piling on Clinton.”
Piling on? Where would they get that idea? Because analysts and writers had spent several days in a frenzy over Clinton’s “implosion,” saying that she might drop out of the race at any minute, that the money would dry up, that heads would roll, that she and her husband had fumbled her comeback attempt? Because they were convinced that Barack Obama would win big–double digits? triple digits?–and an NBC reporter said that it was hard to be objective about him? Did that seem like piling on?
Well, last night, whether they were voting for Hillary or against Matthews, the voters left the pundits with a lot more to chew over and overreact to all over again. Was it, as CNN’s Soledad O’Brien called it, Clinton’s “almost crying”? Did the media push sympathies to Clinton? Did the blowout predictions drive independents to McCain? Did New Hampshirites refuse to let Iowa call the shots for them? Did voters lie to pollsters about their willingness to vote for a black man?