This morning I did a little catch up on Charlie Rose and caught an interview from a couple of days ago with Mark Halperin, political director for ABC News. Halperin offered what I see as a prescient insight into the kind of media coverage Arnold Schwarzenegger can expect … and keep in mind, this quote is coming from one of the card-carrying members of the East Cost Media Elite.
Let me tell you something that your viewers, I think, particularly should be a aware of as they follow the chance Arnold Schwarzenegger has to succeed. Most of the news your viewers, the news and information your viewers are going to get about Arnold Schwarzenegger the man and the emerging politician is going to come from media that’s a little more radically left of center, that is dismissive of Arnold Schwarzenegger because he’s a movie star, and because of his accent, that’s dismissive of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s intellect and of his capacity to be a broad governor in terms of his ability to reach a broad coalition.
And they’re going to be infused by friends of theirs that they see at cocktail parties and dinner parties who are more dismissive of him and feel about him the way a lot of Democrats felt about Ronald Reagan and feel about George W. Bush — completely alienated from him; culturally in some ways; intellectually in some ways, and they believe on social issues, although he is liberal on a lot of social issues.
I think people who are looking at it through that filter may well miss a deeper intellect that your story may suggest and somebody with the capacity to achieve his goals than they are going to give him credit for.
Once again, I think, it will be up to bloggers to check the media bias and put things in context as much as possible. Fellow Bear Flag Leaguers, I take this as a call to arms. What do you think?
UPDATE: National Post column from Matt Welch on media coverage of the new governor.