Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Not the Way it Works

Yglesias is correct in pointing out that some part of the reason the Democrats can't get any press is that they don't run committees, can't hold hearings, etc. Certainly, if they did the media would feel more obligation to cover stories, and the resulting regular "new" news that hearings can make would give stories more life.

However, this lets the media off the hook far too easily. They certainly show no problem keeping a story alive endlessly, even ones which don't involve missing white women, when they choose to. Plenty of Clinton-era pseudo-scandals (and post-Clinton era Clinton pseudo-scandals) were kept alive for significant amounts of time even without officials hearings and whatnot.

Now, I would sadly admit that part of the problem is that the Democrats still haven't managed to work the media machine. The deck is certainly stacked against them, but they could do a lot better. They need to figure out how to work with existing narratives to their advantage, and how to occasionally seize the moment to create their own. Given the hostility of the media and their lack of power that's a challenge, but something they need to learn how to do. Opportunties materialize and they fail to make use of them. It's depressing.