On Monday's AC360, CNN's Jessica Yellin spun the rise of Republican
candidate Scott Brown as coming from "folks here in Massachusetts [who]
are feeling angry and scared. They're angry and scared about the
economy, about jobs...and especially in this state, about health-care
reform....[Brown] has tapped into that fear and sold himself
essentially as a man of the people who will fight big government"
[audio clip from the segment available here ].
Anchor Anderson Cooper, reporting on location from Haiti, brought on Yellin 41 minutes into the 10 pm Eastern hour of his program to discuss the potential effect of the Massachusetts special election on the Democrats' push for ObamaCare. He addressed the liberal conventional wisdom on the senate race in his first question to the CNN national political correspondent: "Jessica, you have a well-known, well-funded Democrat in Massachusetts, running to fill the seat held for nearly half a century by Ted Kennedy. At first glance, you'd assume she'd win that with a walk. What's happened?"
Yellin pinpointed the apparent cause of Martha Coakley's (the "well-known, well-funded Democrat") difficulty as coming from voter discontent:
YELLIN: I can tell you here in Massachusetts, this election- what is about to happen tomorrow, could be tectonic for American politics, for President Obama and for what it means for every single American and their health care. So you ask how did we get here? What happened? Bottom line is, like so many voters around the nation, folks here in Massachusetts are feeling angry and scared. They're angry and scared about the economy, about jobs, about taxes, terrorism and the fears over that- even, and especially in this state, about health-care reform in Washington, D.C. The Republican in this state is a man named Scott Brown. He was a little-known state senator, and he has tapped into that fear and sold himself essentially as a man of the people who will fight big government, and especially, fight President Obama's health-care reform.
The only thing missing from the correspondent's analysis is the term "angry white men." Furthermore, CNN didn't go out of its way to emphasize how President Obama as a candidate "tapped into" the fears of the Bush-Cheney administration or "sold himself as a man of the people."
Later in the segment, Yellin underscored the dramatic and plausible effect the defeat of Coakley would have on the passage of ObamaCare:
COOPER: Scott Brown wins and the Democrats- you know, lose the supermajority. The agenda- basically, health-care reform, that's- what, dead for now?
YELLIN: It's on life support at best. Bottom line, they're- they would not have enough votes to pass it in the Senate, and they have to find a way, some procedural ways, some very politically-unappealing ways around that, which seem very unlikely. And it means if the Democrat wins- loses tomorrow, President Obama's health-reform agenda, which he spent most of his first year working on, could be dead in the water, and what's so ironic about it is it would be because of Ted Kennedy's Senate seat- Ted Kennedy, who helped President Obama become president and who championed health care reform his whole life. So, deeply ironic, and Democrats are hoping they don't face that.
"So ironic" and "deeply ironic"? Yellin must be channeling her inner Alanis Morissette.
-Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.