At the rate things are going, it may be that the list of leading West Virginia Democrats attending the party's convention in Charlotte is going to be shorter than the list of those who aren't.

The Associated Press reported the following in an unbylined item this evening in a terse three-paragraph squib with some pretty amusing attempts at impact-minimizing verbiage (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

I don't know who is going to win this next election; conventional wisdom says it’s too close to call. Some of the most notable pundits are predicting a Republican rout in the Congress and Senate, but that is, at best, just an educated guess.

Even if there is a complete changing of the guard in this election cycle, the American people will have to accept the fact that the building -- or in this case the tearing down of Rome -- did not take place in a day or a decade for that matter, and there will be no quick fix.

In the aftermath of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker defeating a union-backed recall election, New York Times reporter John Harwood still saw bright hopes for Obama both in Wisconsin and nationwide, basing his Saturday "political memo" on a study from a liberal group, in "Demographic Shifts in Key States Could Aid Obama in Fall." That's slanted enough. But why is Harwood also relying on the worthless exit poll from the Walker-Barrett vote last Tuesday to argue that Obama is ahead in Wisconsin?

After getting slammed by NewsBusters for making a demonstrably false claim, Rachel Maddow refrained from repeating it when given the opportunity 24 hours later.

Here's Maddow on her MSNBC show Monday, the eve of the epochal recall election in Wisconsin, saying this about pre-recall polling (video after page break) --

Remarking that Wisconsin voters had "decided to leave their governor in office" on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams contemptuously declared that "money flowed into that state from all over the country, from people who had never been to Wisconsin, had no connection to Wisconsin. Part of the new and unlimited spending that is changing politics in a hurry." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

After Williams credited the out-of-state money for "a huge victory for the Republicans," chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd breathlessly proclaimed: "Walker and national Republicans responded aggressively [to the recall], launching an unprecedented fundraising and TV ad campaign, outspending Barrett and his labor allies by a 3 to 1 margin on the air alone. Overall, nearly as much money was spent in this one state for one election than Mitt Romney has spent to secure the Republican presidential nomination."

Did Erin Burnett just blow off the recall election results in Wisconsin? Even though the Governor Walker won his recall election by seven percentage points, the CNN host questioned the popularity of his "hard-line" tactics on Wednesday because of Obama beating Romney in the exit polls.

Burnett even admitted the exit polls aren't completely reliable, but still asked conservative guest Grover Norquist "So do you think some of these hard-line tactics, you know this kind of my way or the highway, if you don't like it, go jump off a cliff, is not the way to do it?"

Wisconsin's reforming Republican Gov. Scott Walker easily turned back a recall attempt by labor activists angry at him for ending collective bargaining for public service unions. But the New York Times, pushing its own agenda, would prefer the story to be about the "stunning amount" of money in politics. The Times and other media have obsessed over the big spending by Walker supporters, which is rather galling considering that it was the left responsible for holding this election in the first place. Also absent: credit to Tea Party activists.

Reporter Monica Davey set the table with Saturday's "Wisconsin Tops Itself in Big-Money Race," portraying the spending as a problem in itself.

DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made ludicrous accusations against Republicans before and the media have failed to admonish her, but CNN's Piers Morgan stomped on her argument on Wednesday night that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's policies were "extremist."

"If you keep calling him an extremist but you accept that he won, what does that say about the people of Wisconsin? Are they all just a bunch of mad extremists?" Morgan challenged Schultz.

In the same spirit as Scott Bauer's claim for Associated Press of a "narrow 7-point gap" in the Wisconsin recall polls, so The Washington Post on Wednesday's front page classified Scott Walker's win as "Walker survives," and below that, "LONG LINES AND A CLOSE VOTE." Close?

Via my Twitter friend mattjmobile, here's a reminder of the Washington Post's front page on November 5, 2008, when Obama won by the same margin as Scott Walker: "Obama Makes History: US DECISIVELY ELECTS FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT." [See below]

Considering how you're on the payroll and all ...

MSNBC's Chris Matthews made an observation to colleague Ed Schultz last night that was presumably intended as a compliment but could easily be seen as passive aggressive (video after page break) --

On Wednesday's The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz took a condescending tone toward labor union members who voted for Governor Scott Walker in Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin as he recounted NBC News exit poll numbers showing that a significant chunk of union voters supported the Wisconsin Republican.

A baffled Schultz relayed the numbers and recounted the decision of some union members to vote for Walker, using a mocking tone of voice:

Following his resounding victory in Wisconsin's recall election on Tuesday, Governor Scott Walker appeared on Wednesday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, where host Chuck Todd wondered if Walker's signature achievement was also his biggest regret: "Looking back, do you have any regret of going at the issue of collective bargaining itself?...any regrets on that front?"

Despite Walker's push for fiscal restraint in the state having been vindicated, Todd fretted over the Governor's success: "Because there are still Republicans who say, you know what? You poked a tiger that maybe looked like you were going for a political kill rather than focusing on the policy."