Gardner blames Romney loss on TV “news,” but he’s not asked for specifics

Election losers inevitably turn their anger toward the news media, and that’s what Rep. Cory Gardner did Tuesday night when he told KNUS.

“When the American people were watching the news with their family at the dinner table, they saw a media that is gung-ho for the President,” Gardner told KNUS last night. “So not only were we running an election against the President of the United States, we were running an election against TV stations around the country and inside people’s living rooms.”

Seems like the 1950’s rearing itself up again in the GOP mind here, because when was the last time the family ate dinner and watched the evening news together? My kid tries to reach for his computer, while eating at our dinner table, but I’ve always assumed it’s Facebook he’s glued to, not Brian Williams. And TV anchors are the last things I want to see at dinner.

But more to the point, KNUS host Steve Kelley should have asked Gardner for examples of the pro-Obama media bent. It’s far more productive to criticize the media with specifics than with generalities.

And here’s a specific example of how media intervention, albeit by print media, led, probably unintentionally, toward a blip of pro-Romney ink.

Close readers of The Denver Post, and I mean really dedicated readers, may remember consultant Eric Sondermann’s prediction, in the newspaper the Sunday before the election, that Romney would win the Electoral College Vote:

Sondermann: “The burden of being the independent on the panel with no obligation to cheerlead. With abundant doubt, I am going to call it for Romney. Closing momentum trumps meticulous organization. The popular vote margin is large enough to bring along the electoral math. The mantle of ‘change’ shifts.”

I was surprised to see this because on KBDI’s Colorado Inside Out on Friday night (at the 10:50 mark), Sondermann said:

Sondermann: “This thing is way too close to call. Anyone who tells you where this thing is going is lying to themselves and to somebody else.”

Sondermann told me today that Denver Post Editorial Page Editor Curtis Hubbard pushed Sondermann to make a prediction, after Sondermann had initially tried not to do so.

“My first submission was to try to hedge it, and Curtis Hubbard, completely appropriately, asked me to call it,” Sondermann said.

Sondermann was the lone “independent” on The Post’s “Battleground” panel, which was assembled to analyze election issues.

“There was nothing wrong with Curtis pushing me to make a call,” Sondermann said.

It wouldn’t have made “interesting reading,” Sondermann told me, for the three people one the left to say one thing (Obama wins), the three on the other to say something else (Romney wins), and for the person in the middle (Sondermann) to make no prediction at all.

I’d argue that Hubbard shouldn’t have pushed Sondermann to come down on one side or the other.

The truth is that calling the election a tossup was completely reasonable. And you’d think Hubbard would have expected Sondermann to choose Romney, if pushed. I find Sondermann right leaning, and his selection of Romney, based on nonexistent “momentum,” is one piece of evidence that I’m right. But that’s just speculation and weakly supported opinion on my part, obviously.

In explaining his Romney prediction, Sondermann said he wrongly saw the election as being “akin” to the Reagan-Carter contest, featuring a “bad economy and a beleaguered incumbent” when, in fact, the right frame was Bush-Kerry.  Like the Bush-Kerry race, this election was “a whole series of hotly contested narrow victories that when all put together equal a substantial triumph,” Sondermann said.

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