As the national media's political attention turns again to a Wisconsin recall election ginned up by angry labor unions -- that's not counting Ed Schultz, who's never stopped obsessing about ousting Gov. Scott Walker -- it's easy to forget that the national media used to be on the other side of a recall election.
In 2003 in California, it was liberal Gov. Gray Davis who was recalled, and conservatives who ginned up the campaign. Back then, the governor was a hero and the opponents were cranks. As reporters Howard Fineman and Karen Breslau summed up in a Newsweek cover story: "So this is California: in thrall, at least for the moment, to an earnest crank and in the grip of what can only be described as a civic crackup."