Last Thursday, Time's Mark Halperin told guest host Laura Ingraham on "The O'Reilly Factor" that "There is no doubt that the press failed to scrutinize this program at the time of passage and during the context of the president's re-election. Any reporter who would argue otherwise would be putting their head in the sand." Romney's vulnerability on Romneycare meant it wasn't much of an issue.
"It's part of the flaws of the way the media works," Halperin added. "If the candidates aren't talking about it, it gets less coverage. But there's no doubt a disservice was done to the country and even to liberals who want this program to succeed, because it didn't get scrutiny on passage, and then again when the President was running for re-election." But James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal did the mean thing to Halperin. Oh, look, here's one Mark Halperin on March 22, 2010, boasting about the forthcoming press failure on Obamacare, right after it passed:
In the 7½ months between now and November's midterm elections, millions of Americans will be whipped into a frenzy over the purported evils in the Democrats' health care bill, egged on by Fox News chatter, Rush Limbaugh's daily sermons, threats of state legislative and judicial action and the solemn pledge of Republicans in Washington to make the fall election a referendum on Obamacare. But in doing so, they may be playing right into the Democrats' hands. . . .
Democrats will be joined in the fray by much of the press. For Republicans, this will seem like familiar ground, since generations of conservatives have complained that the so-called mainstream media have been biased against them. Well, get ready, Republicans, for déjà vu all over again. The coverage through November likely will highlight the most extreme attacks on the President and his law and spotlight stories of real Americans whose lives have been improved by access to health care (pushed, no doubt, by Democrats from every competitive congressional district and state).
The louder Republicans yell, the more they will be characterized and caricatured as sore losers infuriated by the first major delivery of candidate Obama's promise of "change." The focus on the weekend's alleged racial and gay-bashing verbal attacks by opponents of the Democrats' plan should be a caution to Republican strategists trying to figure out how to manage the media this year.
Taranto added: "His indictment should have been framed as a confession."