- - Sunday, November 2, 2014



To America’s mainstream media, the midterm elections are a choice between bad and worse.

Here’s why, by their reasoning: No one — repeat no one — in their right mind could ever vote for Republicans, so clearly the country’s voters are so disengaged and dissatisfied that they couldn’t care less about who wins.

No less an MSM icon than “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd has said so in an NBC News piece last week titled “None of the Above: Voters Are Holding Their Noses at the Polls.”

The lead says: “If anything sums up voters’ attitudes about this election, it’s these two newspaper endorsements that essentially admit, ‘We dislike both of these candidates, but if we had to pick one.’”

The article quotes the Charlotte Observer, which gave a less-than-tepid endorsement for Democratic incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan. The Observer wrote that “Kay Hagan has been a disappointment”; said she “has done about the minimum you’d expect from a U.S. senator”; and complained that “she has a chronic reluctance to take firm positions on controversial issues.”

Then the paper said North Carolinians should vote to return her to the Senate. “We recommend voters give her another chance to show she is up to it.” Seriously. Because while the paper labeled her a “disappointment,” it called her Republican challenger a “danger.”

See, Republican Thom Tillis wants the unemployed to starve, the elderly (and, of course, women) to die without health care, and he wants to give billions to corporations. (What Republican doesn’t?) “It’s those positions that are the problem, and they are why North Carolina voters should send Hagan back to Washington and hope for something better,” the paper wrote.

That’s right, hope! Forget change, just hope!

The NBC piece also quotes The Nashua Telegraph, a New Hampshire newspaper that criticized Republican challenger Scott Brown in his race against Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. “The attitude expressed here is —none of the above, but if I have to make a choice, I’ll do so, but I won’t like it,” the piece concluded.

Poll watcher Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight echoed the conclusion Sunday. Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” the polling savant said voters hate everyone. “I think it’s the fact that people are not happy with either party. And you know, is there such a thing as an anti-incumbent wave?”

Mr. Silver answered his own question. “Probably a lot of incumbents from both parties lose or come close to losing. So how do you square this kind of moderately pro-Republican mood with the very anti-incumbent mood? Could you have a Republican like Pat Roberts in Kansas lose, even though Republicans have a good night overall? So it’s a multidimensional sort of election. Makes it a bit more complicated,” he said.

Why the denial? The MSM doesn’t want to portray the Democrats as on their way to historic losses. What a difference a few years makes.

In 2006, when President George W. Bush suffered what he called a “thumping” in the midterms, the three networks ran 159 stories about the elections from September to mid-October, according to the Media Research Center. This time around: just 25 stories — and ABC News, astoundingly, had not run a single story on the elections.

More, the MSM doesn’t want to acknowledge that voters are voting against President Obama. National issues, like immigration, and international issues, like Ebola and ISIS, have defined Campaign 2014 — and with that, questions about the president’s competence have taken precedence.

But die-hard liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews left his fellow lefties behind when he summed up Election 2014.

“This is the tricky nature of the Democratic Party going into this election: They don’t really want to say who they are, they don’t want to say who they’re not. They don’t really have a statement,” he said. “They have nothing in the market basket to offer. They have no real positive brand this time.”

What’s more, he mocked Democrats’ arguments such as “Obama is not on the ticket,” saying “these are not winning arguments.”

“In fact, if you look at all the references to the president — who I like — all through the campaign, the only references to him are negative.”

He said some $4 billion has been spent on attacks of Mr. Obama — or silence about Mr. Obama — and the deluge has decided the campaign.

“So what do you think’s going to happen next Tuesday? The voters are going to go into that booth and vote against Obama.”

Surprising words from the guy who famously got a “tingle” up his leg from then-candidate Barack Obama. And also surprisingly spot-on.

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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