One fringe benefit of the long, drawn-out fight for the Democratic nomination is that it is forcing the press corps to describe the connection between the Democratic party and the media establishment, as the partisans of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama each try to undermine the credibility of other’s friends in the press.
Hence we have stories appearing like the one on the first page of today’s New York Times about the feud between the anchors of Sunday talkshows on NBC and ABC, Tim Russert and George Stephanopolous. When was the last time that the Times reminded its readers that both men were Democratic party operatives before moving to TV?
The Russert-Stephanopoulos duel presents an intriguing rivalry, with parallel paths to the top of Sunday television. Both went from politics, where they were aides to Democratic luminaries, to the pinnacle of broadcast news, as hosts of venerated public affairs programs.When the Liberal-Democratic press opposes Republicans and Conservatives, it is in their interest to deny the Liberalism of the press corps. But when two Liberals are fighting, each side wants to expose the other’s partisans. May the chaos continue.
. . .There is a lot of disagreement in the land about who’s been fair to whom,” said Dee Dee Myers, White House press secretary early in the Clinton administration. “So you’ll have Clinton people watching to see if she’s being treated fairly and Obama people watching to see if he’s being treated fairly. And neither side will feel like they’ve been treated fairly, no matter how fair those interviews turn out to be.”
Ms. Myers is one of many Washington insiders who straddle the media and government worlds. She worked with Mr. Stephanopoulos at the White House and has been a regular guest of Mr. Russert on “Meet the Press.”
. . .Schooled in politics by former bosses like Gov. Mario M. Cuomo and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, both New York Democrats, Mr. Russert took a Rose Garden approach to this article and declined to comment.