I hope they can swim.


"I look at the numbers and I`m worried. I`m worried about this government committing itself to so many entitlement programs and committing itself to such a level of taxation that support those entitlement programs."

So surprising said MSNBC's Chris Matthews to colleague Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night just moments after Martha Coakley's concession speech to newly-elected Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.).

As they sat in a bar in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Matthews sounded more like a conservative than the devout liberal he's admitted being.

"The country wants something better than what it has," said the "Hardball" host.

"That dissatisfaction has been overwhelmed by bad politics and smart politics on the right by a complaint about fiscal overkill," he continued. "And that is the problem the Democrats face right now -- a sense not that their values are wrong...The debt is too big. The government`s taking on too many responsibilities" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, file photo):

NBC's Meredith Vieira, on Wednesday's Today show, rained on Scott Brown's parade as she wondered if the Senator-Elect's post-victory call to Ted Kennedy's widow Vicki was an awkward moment since, as the Today co-anchor pressed, "You plan to do whatever you can to derail...the cause of his lifetime?" [Audio available here]

MEREDITH VIEIRA: You know on a personal note, you said last night the first call you made after your victory was to Ted Kennedy's widow, Vicki.

SCOTT BROWN: That's right.

VIEIRA: How comfortable was that for both of you, knowing that you plan to do whatever you can to derail what Ted Kennedy called, called "the cause of his lifetime," which is health care reform?

It sure didn't take long for someone to blame Martha Coakley's defeat in Tuesday's Massachusetts special election on sexism.

If you thought it was because of the economy, or a backlash against Obama's agenda and/or healthcare reform, think again, for Jeannie Cummings and Erika Lovley of Politico claim Scott Brown won because he's a man and his opponent was a woman.

As their piece was published only a few hours after Coakley's concession speech, you've got to figure Cummings and Lovley were well-prepared to point this predictable finger if the woman who even Democrats admit ran an absolutely lousy campaign -- can you say "Curt Schilling is a Yankee fan?" -- lost (h/t Jennifer Rubin):

While it is well known that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is the most viciously liberal voice to host a news program within the mainstream media, even he normally tones down his anti-conservative, anti-Republican vitriol when anchoring special events like election results. But during MSNBC’s coverage of the Massachusetts special Senate election, Olbermann’s presentation was more rabidly partisan than if the Democratic National Committee itself were producing the show.

As he anchored a special 10:00 p.m. edition of Countdown, Olbermann not only used one of his "Quick Comment" segments to repeat his infamous attack from the day before on Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown, but he also impatiently interrupted Brown’s victory speech, and, while Brown was still speaking, went on to give a second "Quick Comment" blaming Tea Party protesters and Fox News for the vulgar "tea bagger" term being attached to the Tea Party movement.

At 10:19 p.m., Olbermann delivered a "Quick Comment" in which he sarcastically pretended that he would apologize for his attack on Senator-elect Scott Brown from the previous day in which he had called Brown an "irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, tea bagging, supporter of violence against women and against politicians with whom he disagrees."

When Democrats lose, liberal reporters tend to see anger and fear, and never positive motivations. CNN reporter Jessica Yellin found the "anger and fear" on Monday night in Massachusetts.

We don’t yet know the outcome of the Jan. 19 Massachusetts Senate special election. But the very fact that the Democrats could lose the seat formerly held by Sen. Ted Kennedy to a conservative who’s made blocking healthcare reform a centerpiece of his campaign, has liberals sputtering implausible explanations.

On Jan. 19, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and liberal radio host Nancy Skinner appeared on CNBC with Larry Kudlow to discuss the ramifications of the election for healthcare. Both suggested that Democrat Martha Coakley was in danger of losing to Scott Brown is because Democrats hadn’t been liberal enough on health care.

Although he predicted Coakley would hold Brown off, Dean said, “Let me agree with something Larry said (far be it from me to ever do such a thing). But I do think this is clarity – about clarity of message and I think the Democrats haven’t had a clear message.”

The problem, from Dean’s perspective, was that compromise had watered down and complicated the health care bill. “Look at what we’ve done. We’ve passed this health care bill, which has, you know, just been a very messy, ugly process – or we’re about to pass a health care bill,” he said, predicting it would pass with or without a Coakley victory. “The best way to [have a bill that works and can refute GOP arguments] was to pass an extension of Medicare to people below 65. Everybody knows what Medicare is, it’s easy to understand, you don’t have to make deals with the health insurance industry. So this is about clarity of message, and Scott Brown has a clear message and the Democrats don’t.”

Democrats generally do not have to worry about an unfriendly press. Most journalists are more than happy to toe the liberal line. But when things turn south for the Democrat, the harder questions start flowing, and occasionally it can get ugly.

Chris Matthews left no doubt for Massachusetts voters what was at stake with their vote in today's Senate election as the MSNBC host, on Tuesday's Hardball, underlined, in graphic terms, that a vote for Republican Scott Brown was a vote to kill health care. Matthews, on the 5pm edition of his show, blared: "If they go for Republican Scott Brown it's deliberate, premeditated murder for health care!"

The following depictions of health care's imminent demise at the hands of Brown were aired on the January 19 edition of Hardball:

As a probable Coakley loss became apparent over the past few days, the liberal excuse machine has been gearing up to spin away as much as it can to dismiss a Scott Brown victory as inconsequential to the national political climate, despite the crucial nature of the seat to a Democratic super-majority.

Not one to disappoint, liberal apologist-cum-journalist Eleanor Clift offers a fresh excuse at Newsweek's Gaggle blog. 

Coakley, you see, was never in the good graces of that royal American family, the Kennedy clan:

New York Times reporter Liz Robbins provided an excellent case study of liberal bias Tuesday, profiling both candidates on the eve of the special U.S. Senate election in the deep-blue state of Massachusetts. Robbins's stories appeared side-by-side on page A22 of Tuesday morning's newspaper, and Democrat candidate Martha Coakley clearly got the better of the deal.

A headline portrayed Coakley as a faithful public servant facing unjust anger: "After Career as Their Advocate, Coakley May Face Voters' Wrath." Meanwhile, Brown's Cosmopolitan centerfold was worth a mention in the second paragraph of his profile.

The text to the Coakley story was highly flattering:
Even during a fierce campaign for Senate, Martha Coakley speaks with quiet fervor, a serious woman who has been arguing issues since she was a standout on her Western Massachusetts high school debate team.

Ms. Coakley, the state's attorney general, gained international recognition as a methodical county prosecutor during the 1997 trial of Louise Woodward, a British au pair convicted of killing a baby boy in her care. Her composed television appearances helped her become the first woman elected district attorney in Middlesex County, the state's most populous, a year later. In 2006, just as easily, she swept the race for attorney general. Since then, she has won settlements from Boston's Big Dig contractors and from Wall Street firms that engaged in deceptive practices.

On Monday’s AC360, CNN’s Jessica Yellin spun the rise of Republican candidate Scott Brown as coming from “folks here in Massachusetts [who] are feeling angry and scared. They’re angry and scared about the economy, about jobs...and especially in this state, about health-care reform....[Brown] has tapped into that fear and sold himself essentially as a man of the people who will fight big government” [audio clip from the segment available here].

Anchor Anderson Cooper, reporting on location from Haiti, brought on Yellin 41 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program to discuss the potential effect of the Massachusetts special election on the Democrats’ push for ObamaCare. He addressed the liberal conventional wisdom on the senate race in his first question to the CNN national political correspondent: “Jessica, you have a well-known, well-funded Democrat in Massachusetts, running to fill the seat held for nearly half a century by Ted Kennedy. At first glance, you’d assume she’d win that with a walk. What’s happened?”

Yellin pinpointed the apparent cause of Martha Coakley’s (the “well-known, well-funded Democrat”) difficulty as coming from voter discontent: