They all secretly (or not so secretly) think they are, personally and directly, the inheritor of Murrow, Cronkite and Woodward & Bernstein. (Even Woodward thinks this, missing the irony that he is not himself, if he ever was.) Their delusion is that they are the defenders of the public weal, and from that conceit a thousand fetid flowers bloom. They like candidates who make them feel like they are on the cusp of history. They worshipped Ronald Reagan because he was a spectacle, the visual personification of their own fantasies about themselves.
This is the mainstream media. The Movement Conservative media understands that what they are here to do is stay in power by any means necessary. They are the ones who set the political agenda on the public ariwaves, seeding the stories as they salt the political earth. They help Republican candidates work the refs.
I noted a few days ago the NYT story about McCain cutting off his old media buddies, which got him attention that he needed. [Note - following sentence rewritten to be readable English.] Now, via Shakesville's Mustang Bobby, the McCain campaign is shoving back on the media again, demanding that Palin be treated with deference by the press, and having her refuse to talk to the press if they won't capitulate to the campaign's demands. And it's working. The Republicans are, once again, kicking the shit out of the press, calling out legitimate bad treatment, like the invasive questioning about Bristol Palin, but quickly expanding it to cover all treatment.
The Incomparable Bob Somerby goes into detail on the way in which the flat-out lies by Palin - lies he could rebut with a small amount of research - are being allowed to cruise right through, such as the total horseshit that she "sold" Murkowski's jet on eBay. He then points out the difference between how Palin is being treated and what has been done to Democrats (my emphasis):
For the record, the “luxury jet” was 23 years old—and it doesn’t seem to have been all that luxurious (more below). But no: Palin didn’t “sell” the jet on eBay—and she didn’t make a profit. Indeed, she lost money for the state of Alaska when she tried to sell the jet on eBay—a procedure that had long been the norm when the state sold its assets.
In short, the eBay story is basically bogus, like the tale of the Bridge to Nowhere. But these stories exist for an obvious reason; they exist to define Palin as “a woman with a lot of guts”—with a ton of hockey-mom savvy. These stories are effective politics—but then too, they’re basically lies.
That brings us back to our basic question: Why can Republicans tell such tales? For two solid years during Campaign 2000, the press corps invented such embellished tales, then pretended that Gore had said them. They then savaged Gore for his vast dishonesty. How can Palin herself pimp such tales, with barely a peep from the “press?”
And this is why arguments about what Democrat will be trashed less than the others is a crappy way to pick a nominee. The press has a narrative about Democrats - they lie, they are morally corrupt, they are cosmopolitan hillbillies, elitist hicks who don't understand heartland, working class values the way we inside the Beltway, Boston-to-DC corridor Villagers do.
If you want to know how the SCLM got the way it is, look at the way WKJM prostituted himself and his reputation (rightly earned by taking on Trent Lott, and by setting up a protest to prevent SS privitization) for the opportunity at those awful, monstrous, racist Clintons and be patted on the head by the Village for helping take out the trash. WKJM is like a little Woodward & Bernstein, flush with his fame at exposing and helping bring down someone high and mighty.
Somerby's point, the one the Blogger Boyz don't want to hear because it interferes with their vision of themselves as the culmination of the great muckraking tradition (stuck as they are in their Cliff Notes version of Hegelian dialectics), when they are in fact mere pool boys at the parties thrown by the Jackie Treehorn's of the media, is that this same media is simply, thoroughly, incorrigibly corrupt. These people are also cowards, quickly coming to heel when the Republicans snap their fingers and threaten to send the naughty reporters off to put the stories to bed without any gossip, free lunches or insider scoops.
The DNC and PB 1.0 willingly colluded with the media to tear down other Democrats, trying to be on the right side of the media by getting on the wrong side of liberal politics. The damage inflicted on their own side in this electoral round will, like the broadsides against Gore, come back to haunt the party for years.
(I completely rewrote the sentence about the push back on the press that I originally read in a post by Mustang Bobby. I apologize for the original mangled mess.)