[I]n my view the danger of bias does not lie in political coverage. I mean, ask Al Gore and John Kerry if they were the beneficiary of a poodle press. They were treated very critically — appropriately.
“Appropriately”? As has been well-documented (start here and here), Gore in 2000 was subjected to the most viciously false media pounding of any modern presidential candidate. From the media-created lie that Gore had claimed to have “invented” the Internet to the hue and cry that he give up on a race that he’d actually won, the 2000 presidential campaign amounted to a shocking eruption of media irresponsibility. The media’s shoddy performance was just as responsible for Gore’s loss as the five Supreme Court justices who handed George W. Bush a victory he hadn’t earned.
No, it wasn’t as bad with Kerry. The swift-boat lies never really broke out of the cable and radio talk ghetto (although Eric Boehlert shows the mainstream media deserve at least some blame), and by 2004 the media were finally starting to catch on to Bush. But Greenfield really needs to bone up on what happened in 2000.
Then again, I remember Greenfield’s popping up on the radio some years ago — on Imus, naturally — to say that he wasn’t all that troubled by the outcome in Florida, because whatever went wrong was balanced off by the fact that the media had mistakenly called the state for Gore before folks in the Panhandle had finished voting. Good grief. (Via Romenesko.)