John Podhoretz points out the two relative time frames that exist in this election cycle. Mainstream Media Time and Blog Time. This is actually an interesting take on what is happening this year.
Those of you on Mainstream Media Time believe the American people are fed up with Republicans, that GOP voters are depressed and won't turn out and Democrats are loaded for bear and will go to the polls even if five feet of snow fall on Election Day.
Your evidence is largely made up of poll data indicating wild discontent with Congress, with Democrats posing severe challenges to scores of Republican incumbents while Republicans are hardly nipping at any Democratic incumbents' heels.
If your clock is set to Blog Time, you believed all that at the start of last week. By last Thursday, however, those of you on Blog Time began to discern a change: Suddenly, things weren't quite so bad for Republicans or quite so great for Democrats.
Blog Timers adduced this not from major evidence, like big polls, but from small data points – trees rather than forests.
Blog Timers noted a Maryland poll indicating a tie in the Senate race there, a seat Democrats are counting on. In Tennessee, they saw Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford deciding to confront his GOP rival, Bob Corker, at a Corker event – and for the first time in a long and confident campaign, looking desperate and worried.
That is an interesting point, isn't it? Podhoretz also points out the danger of the two divergent frames of reference here, though:
If the bloggers get it right this time, this really will be yet another crisis point for Mainstream Media Time – a point at which their most loyal consumers will be compelled to wonder why they're bothering to pay attention to writers and editors whose sense of America is so completely out of whack. Especially if there is another force out there that ate the mainstream media's lunch.
If, however, the bloggers are getting it wrong, this will be the first major blow in their wildly successful rush this decade to dominate the way political news is made, reported and consumed.
This one is well worth reading all the way through. My own view, that I have expressed several times, is that if Ned Lamont fails to win and the Democrats fail to take either chamber of Congress, that the netroots will have discredited themselves as a political force. The flip side of that is that they will have also discredited blogs and bloggers in general to at least some extent. On the other hand, some of us have read the tea leaves and believe the MSM is wrong this year, so if we are correct, we get more credibility. But it is a dangerous time for both the old and the new media as Podhoretz presents it.
I suspect we'll survive one way or the other.