Next let's look at NBC's exasperating coverage of Campaign 2010. I have no complaint with political director Chuck Todd's summary of NBC News' latest polling data. He noted a Republican lead on the generic ballot; a similar right-track/wrong-track ratio to the one found in 1994 and 2006, the last two times leadership in the House of Representatives changed hands; yet an improvement in the job performance ratings of individual incumbent members of Congress.
No, my problem is with the two follow-up features: Mike Taibbi on the conduct of politicians on the stump; and Kevin Tibbles on the mood of voters. Taibbi's round-up consisted of Christine O'Donnell's confusion about the First Amendment; Rush Limbaugh insulting Barack Obama; Jack Conway invoking college pranks; Joe Miller having a reporter arrested; and Carl Paladino being upstaged by the Rent Is 2 Damn High Party. Taibbi's so-called analysis was the observation that "beyond political theater there is real anger heading into these midterms" calling it a "volatile election cycle." Not a word about issues; not a mention of public policy; not a hint of platforms or mandates or future governing strategies.
As for Tibbles' survey of voters' vox pop, he detected an "unsettled mood…many voters are questioning whether the politicians even realize how worried they are about the future of this country and it upsets them…It is in middle America, middle-class America, where many say fear is replacing hope." He found vague opposition to bailouts and to deficit spending and to joblessness and to declining living standards. Not a word about issues; not a mention of public policy; not a hint of platforms or mandates or future governing strategies.
Chuck Todd is NBC's political director. He needs to start giving his political correspondents some direction.
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