Media Spins Nov. 3rd GOP Victories as "Change Election"
Interview with Karl Frisch, senior fellow with the group Media Matters for America, conducted by Scott Harris
As the results of the Nov. 3 local and state elections poured into network and cable TV outlets, commentators were standing by to read the tea leaves of voter sentiment and what it could mean to the future of Democrats which now control Congress. The only two governors' races of the night were won by Republicans. Chris Christie defeated incumbent John Corzine in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell beat Democrat Creigh Deeds by a wide margin in Virginia.
Two other elections being closely watched had very different results -- with special elections for House seats both won by Democrats. As expected, California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi won the northern California district formerly held by Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher. But the special election in New York's 23rd District drew the most attention when for the first time since 1871 a Democrat, Bill Owens, claimed victory over Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman and GOP moderate Dierdre Scozzafava. Although Scozzafava was the Republican candidate within days of the election, she threw her support to Owens after prominent national conservative activists, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and right-wing talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck endorsed Hoffman.
The overall election results were interpreted by many pundits as a clear victory for Republicans, signaling danger for Democrats in the 2010 midterm election and for Barack Obama if he should run for a second term in 2012. Some commentators blamed Obama and the Democrats' progressive agenda on health care and global warming for defeats in New Jersey and Virginia, although that view was not backed up by exit polling. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Karl Frisch, senior fellow with the group Media Matters for America. He examines the corporate media's spin in covering the Nov. 3rd election results, and the civil war brewing in the Republican Party.
Karl Frisch, senior fellow with the group Media Matters for America. Contact the group at (202) 756-4100 or visit their website at www.mediamatters.org
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