The special election in Massachusetts is sure to be a close one. Should Republican Scott Brown prevail, however, the liberal media will have a host of ways to explain away the election as an anomaly and by no means a referendum on either the president or his legislative accomplishments (or lack thereof).

Perhaps one of the most absurd instances of this thinking came on last night's "O'Reilly Factor" where Washington Post veteran writer Sally Quinn actually attributed Brown's meteoric rise to, wait for it, a semi-nude photo shoot he did for Cosmopolitan magazine--a full 28 years ago (video and partial transcript below the fold - h/t Jim Hoft).

Quinn postulated that the shoot gave the "hunk" Brown a boost in name recognition before the election. O'Reilly, for his part, called Quinn out on how outlandish she sounded.

ABC on Monday night again empathized with the Obama White House’s disbelief that they could lose “Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat” -- and thus ObamaCare -- if Republican Scott Brown beats Democrat Martha Coakley in Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts. George Stephanopoulos saw a “Shakespearean” tragedy just over a week after PBS’s Judy Woodruff, on ABC’s This Week, described such a scenario as “a tragedy of Greek proportions.”
Stephanopoulos conveyed on Monday’s World News how “Democrats in the White House and Capitol Hill are braced for a shattering loss. And it's really hard for them to wrap their head around it, the idea care reform may be in peril because Democrats can't hold the seat that Teddy Kennedy held for nearly half a century. You know, one White House official summed it up in a single word: ‘Shakespearean.’”

During the roundtable on the January 10 This Week, CNN and NBC veteran Woodruff despaired: “I was just going to say, quoting somebody in the White House, a tragedy of Greek proportions if Ted Kennedy's successor is the one, is the one who was responsible for the death of health care.”

UPDATES AT END OF POST: Joe Scarborough calls Olbermann out for these disgusting remarks -- now including video!

"In Scott Brown we have an irresponsible, homophobic, racist, reactionary, ex-nude model, teabagging supporter of violence against woman and against politicians with whom he disagrees."

Such was actually said Monday evening -- on national television!!! -- by a person currently employed by one of America's largest corporations, General Electric.

If the following "special comment" by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann is considered acceptable discourse on a cable news network today, there really is something very wrong in our nation (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Story Balloon):

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again.

Break out the hankies! Andrew Sullivan has gone into deep melodrama mode over at The Atlantic and is now mourning the "looming landslide for Brown." For the gloomy Sullivan tomorrow could signal not only the loss of an election but also the loss of health care and, ultimately, the loss of socialist America itself. Enjoy the act from the Sullivan Theater as Andrew presents his version of The End:

The folks at the uber-liberal website Daily Kos are showing their political bias this evening with a new poll claiming Tuesday's special Senate election in Massachusetts is all tied up.

What makes this laughable is the Real Clear Politics average -- including the DK poll -- has Republican candidate Scott Brown leading Democrat Martha Coakley by 6.2 points.

Here are the most recent poll numbers:

Boston Globe writer Lisa Wangsness can't be blamed too much for assuming that appointed senator Paul Kirk's term ends when the winner of tomorrow's election in Massachusetts, Scott Brown (photo) or Martha Coakley, is seated. Wrong. Mass. law is very specific on that term limit as Fred Barnes has noted in the Weekly Standard. The reason why Wangsness can be forgiven for her error is that it is the same assumption made by most of the rest of the mainstream media. Here is the relevant section of her article about the effect of tomorrow's election on the health care bill:

Another possibility would be for Democrats to hurry and pass a compromise bill before Brown were seated.

It is not clear how much time Democrats would have in that case. Before the new Massachusetts senator takes office, Secretary of State William F. Galvin must certify the vote, and town clerks have to wait 10 days after the election to allow time for the ballots of military members serving overseas to arrive, then they have another five days to deliver the final results to Galvin, according to state election law. After that, the new senator can be sworn in.

Mark Halperin, MSNBC In a bizarre twist of logic, on Monday’s Morning Joe program on MSNBC, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin argued that if Democrat Martha Coakley lost the race for the Massachusetts Senate, it would improve chances of health care reform passing: “I actually think they may get health care more easily than if they win.”

While Halperin acknowledged that losing the Senate seat that once belonged to the late Ted Kennedy would be a “disaster” for Democrats, he explained the supposed upside: “...if she wins, if they hold the seat, they’re still going to have to come up with a deal and then they’re going to have to have two votes, the House and Senate. They’re going to have to go through, you know, the torture of Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson deciding if they can deal with the compromised bill.” Halperin seemed convinced a Coakley loss could avoid all of that torturous democracy.

Later in the 12:00PM ET hour of live coverage on Monday, anchor Monica Novotny referred back to Halperin’s Morning Joe comments and asked guests Richard Wolffe and Larry Sabato about such an analysis of the situation: “In a discussion about this race earlier this morning on our air, the point was made that perhaps it’s better for the Democrats if they lose this seat....What do you think?”

Barack Obama appears to no longer be giving Chris Matthews a tingle up his leg, for the MSNBC host thinks Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts might end up being a reflection of how people are very averse to the new President's program.

With a visible frown on his face, Matthews told "Daily Rundown" co-host Chuck Todd Monday that recent polling data "has to do with reality of a terrible economy, of this new burden that people feel being put on their shoulders of bigger debt, perhaps taxes coming down the road."

Matthews continued, "And the fear that the burden of healthcare is going to be much heavier than the benefit."

The "Hardball" host cautioned, "I think it's going to show up in Massachusetts tomorrow with the results there" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Story Balloon):

While the broadcast and cable news media have paid plenty of attention to Martha Coakley's embarrassing Curt Schilling gaffe, much less attention has been paid to more serious matters that exemplify Coakley's hard-left campaigning tactics, such as her insulting devout Catholics as unfit for working in emerg

It's like the butterfly effect, but with fish! A guppy shortage in Florida is having an effect on a special Senate race in Massachusetts, according to New York Times columnist Gail Collins, still determined to ignore the nationwide anti-Democratic surge.

Back in November, Collins reacted with dismissive sarcasm to the Democrats losing governors' seats in Virginia and New Jersey:
Although there is no way to deny that New Jersey and Virginia were terrible, horrible, disastrous, cataclysmic blows to Obama's prestige....The defeat of Gov. Jon Corzine made it clear that the young and minority voters who turned out for Obama will not necessarily show up at the polls in order to re-elect an uncharismatic former Wall Street big shot who failed to deliver on his most important campaign promises while serving as the public face of a state party that specializes in getting indicted.

Maggie Rodriguez and Nancy Cordes, CBS While concluding a story on the Massachusetts Senate race on Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez acknowledged the possibility that Republican Scott Brown could win the long held Democratic seat but wondered: “It’ll be interesting to see if Brown, the Republican, wins, if the Democrats can defer his swearing in and get health care passed. We will watch that.”

At the top of the show, Rodriguez teased the story: “In Massachusetts it’s more than just a Senate race, it’s a battle that could end President Obama’s fight for health care reform.” Correspondent Nancy Cordes followed up with a report that also focused on the impact the race would have on health care: “The President was here campaigning yesterday for the Democrat. And no wonder, if she loses, it will be a major blow to his ability to get his agenda passed.”

Cordes observed how affective Brown’s opposition to ObamaCare has been: “Coakley’s Republican challenger...has made stopping the health care reform bill a signature issue. A message that seems to be resonating with voters.” She then fretted: “If Coakley loses this race, Democrats will lose their supermajority in the Senate. Meaning they won’t be able to pass Democratic priorities like health care reform unless they can convince a few Republicans to vote with them.”

Teasing coverage on tomorrow's Massachusetts special election to fill its vacant Senate seat, MSNBC's David Shuster avoided any pretense of objectivity as he opened the 10 a.m.