Whether liberal or conservative, most pundits argue that this week's elections portended changing political tides going into the 2010 midterm elections. But a contingent of the political punditry warns we're reading way, way too much into idiosyncratic local, not national, elections. Now as the coverage on the meaning of the elections reached feverish heights, so did the exasperation of media critics who just couldn't take it any more.
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- 100,000 Pounds of Bullshit The Daily Show's Jon Stewart hilariously lambastes the media's over-reaching narratives. "Vote or keep going about your day," he titles the segment, riffing off the "vote or die" meme of 2004. "Really, these random and somewhat eccentric grab-bag of elections are not only a referendum on the last election but predictive of elections several years in the future?" he asks. "Might the media, with really very few other elections to cover, be stuffing 100,000 pounds of their bullshit into District 23's five-pound bag?"
- We Need The Page Views Ezra Klein fesses up. "The problem with all this is that last night's elections weren't a big enough sample size to say anything definitive, or even particularly suggestive. Two governorships changed hands. Two House seats changed hands. But we in the political press still need to write stories today, and you out there in the audience generally deliver greater numbers to our advertisers when we write about elections, so here we are."
- The Next Balloon Boy Kevin Drum rolls his eyes. "I understand that everyone wants to spin yesterday's election results in the best possible light for their side, but the sheer volume of yak is astonishing. Was there this much postgame analysis after the off-off-year elections in 2005 or 2007?" he asks. "In any case, jeez, can we all get a grip? [...] Everyone needs to turn down the dial before this election becomes the balloon boy of politics."
- 'Joe Biden Must Resign' Duncan "Atrios" Black skewers the media spin that yesterday's election was a referendum on President Obama's policies and that the two governors races proved him unpopular. "Deep Thought: After tonight's elections results, Joe Biden must resign, Sarah Palin must be confirmed as his replacement, and then Barack Obama must resign. The people have spoken."
- 'Just Hopeless' John Cole is incredulous. "A Question: Ever, in the history of the country, have state Governor’s races not even in a midterm election year, but one year into an administration, been portrayed as a referendum on the President," he asks. "Could Chuck Todd explain to me how many votes in Congress for health care reform Chris Christie and McDonnell have? Our media is just hopeless." Cole adds: "I'd be hard pressed to draw any conclusions from yesterday other than that Sarah Palin is still a loser."
- Liveblogged Descent Into Madness Wonkette's Jim Newell got a little carried away liveblogging last night's media coverage, which he notes tended to over-emphasize the national stakes. "Lou Dobbs hints that there could be a repudiation of the Obama Agenda in '40 states.' There aren’t even that many states in Mexico, Lou Dobbs! [...] Jessica 'Hologram' Yellin is reporting from on the ground, in Virginia, and she brings with her a scoop! 'How are people voting? It depends on who you talk to.' NO! It is either out of love or hate for Barack Obama, in Washington. [...] Chris Matthews! WHY DON’T PEOPLE LIKE OBAMA THEY HATE BUSH THEY’RE DIFFERENT WHAT IS THIS. [...] He adds (to paraphrase), 'you can’t just ask Rahm Emanuel for pancakes and expect, what was it, pancakes, you can’t expect those pancakes the goddamn pancakes from Rahm.' [...] Pat Buchanan doesn’t blame this likely loss in Virginia on Obama! He will be fired from the media."