Bob Woodward came close. Oh so close to discerning how much of the mainstream media were blindsided by the stunning defeat of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his congressional primary in Virginia. In fact, Woodward came so close that your humble correspondent thought he was going to say it out loud today while being interviewed by CNN's Candy Crowley on State of the Union.
Instead Woodward skipped the real reason and gave the secondary reason for neglect of this story. Woodward did mention that too many reporters don't like to do the hard footwork to investigate stories in favor of sitting around the air conditioned newsroom and surfing the web for research. Unfortunately, Woodward completely overlooked the fact that much of the mainstream media reside in a liberal cocoon and miss much of what is going on in the conservative world as happened in that Virginia election. First let us look at Woodward's very partial explanation for what went wrong with that election coverage:
...And if you look at the Eric Cantor loss, primary loss, ending his career as the house majority leader in a district in Richmond that there should have been reporters all over that story and everyone was caught by surprise because people weren't there, people weren't knocking on doors, people were not listen in this -- the theme here is not listening and not taking the time, sitting at the computer, looking for a clever tweet or to say something on a blog rather than going out -- when we were working together on the Nixon case, we could work two or three weeks on a story.
Editors would look at a draft and say, now wait, what about this? Get more sources. Drive in to this, make sure you are on solid ground. Now if you have an advance on a story, they're in your office saying get it on the Web site in one hour.
Too bad Woodward didn't get a little more specific about "not listening" because if MSM reporters had been listening to Laura Ingraham or Mark Levin on the radio, they would have known in advance that Virginia primary had the potential to be an upset. And why does the MSM neglect to listen to Ingraham or Levin or any of the other talk radio hosts? Jeffrey Lord writing for Newsbusters explains:
...inside the media Clerisy's cocoon Mark Levin, if he's thought of at all, is seen as some sort of cartoon. A this and a that, a that and a this, not worth listening to in the same fashion it isn't worth listening to Rush or Sean or Glenn or Laura.yada yada yada. Then along comes the Eric Cantor election and these people are gobsmacked! Stunned to learn that voters in the 7th District of Virginia have been listening to.. Mark Levin. Who in turn has been talking with Dave Brat - three different times in the run up to this election.
In addition to Mark Levin, the voters in that district were also listening to Laura Ingraham who was covering this story quite a bit in the run up to the election but the MSM were ignoring her for the same reasons they weren't listening to Mark Levin. And thank you, Bob Woodward, for at least working up to the edge of why this story was ignored even though you didn't quite go all the way with it.