Chris Matthews sees W's favorables going up and the Dem generic congressional edge going down. He's ticked, and on tonight's Hardball he made clear his explanation for this revoltin' development: the MSM isn't churning out enough bad news from Iraq.
Matthews first floated the idea during a segment with GOP strategist Ben Ginsburg and Dem counterpart Steve McMahon. I'll mention as an aside that McMahon strikes me as one of the more reasonable, straightforward Dem partisans.
Quoth Chris: "Does it bother you gentlemen both that when you watch television now that the war seems to have left the TV screen to a large extent and that's helping your [GOP] party? Does that bother you that this war is largely off television now? We're not being shown it that much."
Continued Chris, nostalgic for the bad old days: "You don't see the war. It's not like Vietnam where you see the helicopters every night. Does it bother you we're not seeing this war any more?"
Addressing himself to McMahon, Matthews asked: "Are you worried the war is passing from public view right now? The president is grabbing the front page!"
Matthews returned to the theme in a subsequent segment with Dem VA senatorial candidate James Webb. An aside: not being a resident of the DC or VA area, I haven't seen Webb in action much, and must say that I found him serious and impressive - aside from his obeisance to Dem ideology when he bemoaned income inequality.
Matthews: "Are you concerned that the president has been able to shift public attention from the war in Iraq, maybe with the help of the media, because there's so damn little coverage of that war any more with all the violence that keeps upticking over there and spiking. The president's been able to shift attention from the hell going on in Iraq to whether he's for waterboarding. Has that been a ploy that's working?"
Matthews, dissatisfied by Webb's reply, returned to the charge: "Are you concerned, I want to ask you again, that the media seems to be giving short shrift to the violence in Iraq right now and more attention to the internal Republican politics of torture?"
MSM, are you listening? Chris has given you your marching orders. From now through Election Day, 24/7, it's got to be bad news from Baghdad.