Matt's Misgiving: Will Foley Scandal Unfold Fast Enough To 'Truly Impact' Elections?

When it comes to the Foley scandal, the MSM is definitely keeping its eyes on the prize: the Democratic takeover of Congress. In this NB item, I described how the New York Times editorialized this morning that it doesn't care what else flows from the scandal. So long as the Dems re-take power, the Foley flameout "will have done its job."

Over at 'Today' this morning, Matt Lauer fretted that the fallout might not come fast enough to swing the election to the Dems. Interviewing Tim Russert, Lauer said "the most cynical scenario, the worst-case scenario for Republicans is that they kept this under wraps because Foley's seat was important to holding control of the House at a time when the entire control issue is up for grabs in the mid-term elections." Matt didn't bother painting a more innocent scenario.

Agreed Russert, using his signature term for assent: "Absolutely!"

Lauer ultimately gave voice to both his hope and his anxiety:

"Now we're five weeks away from the mid-term elections. Tim, investigations take time. So is this going to, kind of, unfold in time to truly impact those elections?"

Russert: "It probably won't come to closure . . . but as a Republican said to me yesterday, 'when it came to Iraq, we could say to our constituents the Democrats don't have a plan either. This one,' he said, 'they get.'"

Lauer took another shot in the guise of the most rhetorical of questions:

"Does this resonate with voters? There are some stories, Tim, and you and I know this, that we talk about a lot and they talk about a lot inside Washington. But you get out to Des Moines and Little Rock and Seattle and it doesn't make that big a difference. How does this rate?"

Gotta love the elitism! Don't worry, Matt. This is a story even them corn-fed hicks in Iowa can understand.

Bonus coverage: Referring to a Washington Times editorial of this morning calling on Speaker Hastert to resign in the wake of the Foley scandal, I counted three times that 'Today' labelled the newspaper "conservative." When's the last time 'Today' applied the "liberal" label to the NY Times, Boston Globe, LA Times, et. al?

Finkelstein lives in the liberal haven of Ithaca, NY. View webcasts of Mark's award-winning TV show 'Right Angle' here. Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.