The first clause of one sentence in a Tuesday MSNBC.com blog entry: "Folks, we need to pause here and really examine just how derelict the MSM has become..."
That certainly sounds promising, but, alas, here's the second clause: "...and just how entrenched the entire corporate media enterprise is in terms of allowing the Republican party to dictate coverage on key political issues." The blogger in question, who's specifically talking about last week's Iraq debate in the Senate, is Eric (Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush) Boehlert, filling in for Eric (What Liberal Media?) Alterman.
Boehlert goes on: "The fact that the lapdog press allows it to happen on behalf of a historically unpopular president just boggles the mind. (And yes, the USA Today poll confirmed Bush's much-anticipated June bounce was non-existent.)" You'd think that if the media really were in the tank for Bush, they'd rig the poll in his favor, thereby manufacturing a bounce, but...whatever.
Boehlert crescendos his argument (bold-type emphasis added):
[J]ournalists at this pay grade are not dumb. They can read the polling data just like anyone else and could instantly grasp the political barriers the Republicans were erecting by going all in with Iraq during an election year. But they chose, as a group, to focus on the perils facing Democrats instead. And that's what makes the media's complete failure on the issue all the more distressing; it's being done intentionally. Journalists are afraid of the facts and the consequences of reporting them. My book is filled with the examples — entire chapters — and last week's Iraq debate is just the latest instance. Reporters and pundits obviously chose to allow their coverage be dictated by the RNC and White House aides. There's no other explanation.