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Sunday, November 09, 2003

Who wuuda thunk it?

America's liberal media bias does their darling Democrats no favours whatsoever
by Mark Steyn
After the US elections a year ago, I decided that "liberal media bias" was far more harmful to liberals than conservatives. In fact, if I were a Democrat, I'd be getting a little miffed at the recurring pattern of the past two years: throughout the election campaign, my newspaper produces a poll showing my guy way ahead; finds "typical voters"
(choreographers of environmentalist dance companies, etc) anxious to blame Bush for the worst recession since Hoover; runs front-page features on how Clinton's flown in to campaign with my man, exuding the rock-star glamour that so enthuses the base, etc.

And then the morning after election night, I wake up to discover that, in a stunning upset utterly predictable to anyone but the expert media analysts, the Democrat got hammered.

But not to worry. Just as your rattled Democratic supporter is beginning to feel a harsh jab of reality in what Slate's Mickey Kaus calls the "liberal cocoon", the media rush to lull him back to the land of make-believe, assuring us that the Democrat defeat is attributable to strictly local factors and is definitely not part of a trend.

Oddly enough, all these non-trends seem to trend the same way: November 2002 - Democrats lose control of the US Senate; October 2003 - Democrats lose the California gubernatorial race; November 2003 - Democrats lose the Mississippi and Kentucky gubernatorial races.

None the less, The Daily Telegraph, in a curious editorial that sounded as if my colleagues had been up all night snorting Democratic talking points, reported that "America is becoming even more polarised than in the desperately close presidential race of 2000". The victories in Mississippi and Kentucky were merely Bush consolidating his heartland. Against that, the Telegraph gravely noted, must be set Republican defeats in New York's Suffolk County.

Well, it's true even Democrats can find good news if they know where to look. In my town in New Hampshire, a Democrat neighbour recently got elected cemetery commissioner, which may prove useful experience, the way things are going for her party.

The American electorate is "polarised" in the sense that a seesaw would be with Kate Moss at one end and me at the other. The 50/50 nation of the 2000 election is gone. A small but significant sliver of the electorate shifted Right after September 11: we can argue about whether it's four per cent or 12 per cent, but not whether it exists.
Steyn goes on to say that that "significant sliver" seems to consists of young Democrats, but I would wager it's more than a few middle-aged Jews.

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