Atrios has a post regarding the media's love affair with Obama and hatred of Hillary, which links to this article which gives details to it. But the thing is, I think there's a lot more to this than just "the media hates her the way the media will hate him." Because the article highlights a fundamental mistake the Hillary campaign made:
"But instead, the affect she presented to reporters was in perfect keeping with all the stereotypes about her: She was guarded and relentlessly, robotically on-message on the rare occasions when she sat for interviews, displaying little of her charm or humor. She adopted an arch-Establishmentarian posture rather than an inspiring, transformational one..."
The writer insists that Hillary's problem is that she was trapped into a meme that made her out to be this way, but why? This is clearly what they were going for. Everything from denouncing people who referred to her as "Hillary" instead of "Clinton" to the entire "Inevitable Political Machine That Will Destroy Republicans" was a clear sign that she was trying to work this to her advantage. Sure, the media already had these attitudes about her, so why reinforce them?
I suspect that the Hillary people were really trying to steal a page from the Bush manual. The Bush Election Machine had much of this same mystic, and it worked well. But the big difference was the candidate they were selling. While the Bush Machine was scary sharp, the candidate was a "Good Ol Boy" doofus in a cowboy hat who seemed to enjoy clearing brush more than anything. And so while the Machine frightened them, the candidate was friendly, fun, and entirely non-threatening (or so they thought).
Hillary's people messed up because their candidate was already known for being a machine, and the Inevitable Machine meme just made it worse. People didn't just fear her campaign. They feared her. And that fit in so well with the media's meme that they just continued to run with it. Now, it wasn't just "the bitch;" it was the "Bitch's Machine." Or so said the meme. And while that might have been inevitable, Hillary's strategy only made it worse. Her re-branding experts told her to play it soft, but her idiot political advisors told her to go tough, and she went with the advisors; who she's been listening to for years. I suspect history will show that to be her biggest mistake.
A New Democrat
That writer then ends the piece with a dig at Obama:
His success has turned in no small part on his skill at avoiding such flyspecking, and on his rival’s inability to muster the same kind of dexterity. If Obama winds up facing John McCain, a man whose meta-narrative is spun from pure gold, he is unlikely to be so fortunate again.
But why is that assumed? He also mentions how the GOP has done this "again and again," but what is that based on? As I've argued before, the GOP Attack Machine is vastly over-rated. But in what case has the GOP been able to turn a positive media story into a negative? Are we to imagine that the media once loved the Clintons? Was Gore ever a media darling? Can anyone possibly suggest that Kerry has a TV-friendly charm?
Of course not! The Clintons were hated because he was a "bubba" who was too BS-y and she was too bitchy, and they didn't go to the right parties or please the right people. Gore was hated because he was a Boy Scout who got the pile-on they wanted to give to Bill but never could. Kerry was hated because he wasn't Bush and he was another boring Boy Scout who wouldn't stop talking. Sure, the media was able to find things they didn't like, but the real issue is that they just didn't like these people to begin with. It wasn't the Smear Machine that got the media hating them. It was the opposite: The media hated them and gave the Smear Machine a voice. That's all that happened. And without the media, the Machine is impotent. Hillary's largely found that out too. It doesn't do any good to steamroll the press if the press is intent on steamrolling you.
Now, that's not to guarantee at all that they won't turn on Obama too. Perhaps they will. But in no case do we have evidence of a Media Darling Democrat who became a Media Target due to Republican smears. Can anyone name any Democrat who that applies to? Instead, I'm seeing a group of people who have grown to idolize JFK, RFK, and MLK; and a candidate they've already decided is a combination of all three. This has never happened before and I see no reason to imagine the old rules will apply to him. Maybe they will, but precedent no longer applies.
Granddaddy v. The Fonz
And I'm of the opinion that they're going to give even better treatment to Obama than McCain. Not all of them, but Obama's got the better story, and will give them better things to write about. Sure, it's always nice to quote Mr. "Straight Talk". But where's the story? Obama has his story built-in. He's part of a new movement sweeping America that will transform politics as we know it. And if there's anything the herd-like media loves, it's a new movement sweeping America.
And as I explained at Atrios', McCain's the funny grandfather who tells dirty jokes that make you laugh on fishing trips. Obama's the cool older cousin you try to emulate as much as possible. And for as much as you love your grandfather, you'd much rather hang out with the cousin. It's possible things won't work out that way, but we need to realize that they really might.
Oh, and Bush was your older sister's boyfriend, who gave you good things sometimes, but was kind of a jerk when he didn't want you around. And for as much as he pretended to be your pal, you often got the impression he just did it so he could get into your sister's pants. And he always did. Even now, the media hasn't quite grasped the fact that Bush was just using them.