I didn't come up with the phrase, but I kind of like it. I suppose this blog would be considered "in the tank." Maybe we should change the name from IN THE DARK to IN THE TANK? Just kidding. "In the tank," for those of you who haven't heard the phrase used lately, is the phrase Sen. John McCain's campaign is using to describe media organizations who are uninterested in pursuing sordid details about Sen. Barack Obama's or Sen. Joe Biden's political careers or lives. At least that's my understanding. It came after two McCain campaign aides, Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis, held a conference call to "complain about being called 'liars.'" My thought on that is, "They wouldn't call you liars if you weren't lying."
But where it gets interesting is that on that same conference call, Schmidt proceeded to try to point the media in what he thinks is the right direction -- Biden's son, Hunter's, lobbying work, Obama's alleged ties to William Ayers, and attacks made on Gov. Sarah Palin by Obama backers. When later questioned about these assertions and asked for factual backup, another McCain aide claimed Politico was "in the tank." Steve Benen from Washington Monthly put it well when he said "if you care about reality, you're necessarily biased. You are either with McCain or against him, and if you notice McCain's campaign straying from the truth, you're obviously the enemy."
If the Obama campaign was lying as often as the McCain campaign, the media would have something to report. But while the Obama campaign has been guilty of exaggerations and lies at times, it is not nearly on the same scale as McCain. Both McCain and Palin have continually repeated things they know to be untrue. Not only do they know them to be untrue, but the media has repeatedly reported them to be untrue. If the label "liar" fits, well . . . What did the McCain campaign expect? That the media would just turn and look the other way? That the unfettered access he once granted them would make them his lapdogs? I may not love the media lately, but I'm glad that the lies have at least been exposed as such. This idea of a "liberal media" is just so comical to me. As if the media has never reported a single thing about Obama's "scandals."
I ran some searches on Google News to see what articles were written (just in 2008) about certain alleged scandals during the primary and now general election relating to Obama. Let's see . . .
Rev. Jeremiah Wright: 13,000 hits
Tony Rezko: 1,750 hits
Michelle Obama is proud of her country: 1,380 hits
Michelle Obama and the "whitey" comment: 184 hits
State Sen. Alice Palmer: 71 hits
"Present" votes in Illinois state senate: 8,930 hits
Lack of experience: 637 hits
Obama and anything Muslim: 8,490 hits
Obama is a celebrity (or is pals with them): 3,750 hits
Franklin Raines: 38 hits
William Ayers: 1,150 hits
Earmarks: 1,500 hits
Obama's patriotism: 3,420 hits
These are just the "scandals" I can remember right now. Also, I started looking through some of the hits to see what media organizations these pieces were from, but it became too tedious, so I just hyperlinked to my searches for those who want to see for themselves. Admittedly, many of these hits will be for sites that are not "mainstream." And other hits will be for pieces that were written or broadcast debunking these "scandals" or that were favorable to Obama. However, I maintain that, favorable or not, all a news piece has to do is talk about Obama and such and such scandal, and the two are linked. My father still thinks Obama is a Muslim, depsite the articles saying otherwise. Why? Because he saw "Obama" and "Muslim" in the same articles too many times, and now he refuses to think otherwise. And the final point is that many of these hits are from the mainstream media, so the "liberal media" isn't ignoring Obama in favor of pointing out that McCain is a liar. It just so happens the McCain campaign has lied a lot lately and that has gotten more play. My suggestion to the McCain campaign is to stop lying.
Instead, the campaign has chosen to complain about being caught in their lies and try to direct the media to write some negative pieces about Obama. You know what that looks like? It's like my getting in trouble at work for goofing off all day, and instead of being honest and saying, "Yes, I have been goofing off all day, and I will work harder," I say, "Well, Jane Smith goofs off all day too. I see her on the Internet all day long and talking to other people when she should be working. Maybe you should reprimand Jane Smith as well." I've seen people try this defense on for size, and it usually ends up getting them fired. Or at the very least put on their employer's shit list. Looks like McCain is moving toward the shit list. Maybe the media's shit list too.