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With One Simple Sentence, ABC News Confirms The Death of Beltway Journalism

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It's from an online report about the Obama school "controversy," and it's written by Dan Harris. In his piece, Harris notes that conservatives preemptively blasted Obama's stay-in-school speech even though conservatives had no idea what was going to be in the speech. Harris notes that the speech itself "turned out to be little more than a pep talk on the importance of staying in school."

Later in the piece as he tries to put the "controversy" in context, Harris uncorks this era-defining gem [emphasis added]:

While the media loves a good fight -- even when the charges are unfounded -- there may be more to conservatives' complaints that play into larger concerns about the president on health care reform.

Behold the wonder. Pretty much sums up the state of affairs, right? "The media loves a good fight -- even when the charges are unfounded."

And do I even have to mention that the media's new-found love of unfounded fights is an Obama era special. Or can somebody point me towards the manufactured, unfounded "controversies" hatched during the Bush years that the press treated as big news. (As I've noted, when conservatives -- and overwhelming white -- activists get mad, it's news. When liberals do it, it's annoying.)

If that weren't bad enough, there were other depressing nuggets from Harris' woeful report. First, he quoted three partisan Obama critics in the story, yet somehow managed to avoid a single Democrat or Obama supporter for his report.

And second, then there was this:

While Obama may have run a successful presidential campaign, critics say the White House has been unprepared for the ferocity of the Republican opposition.

"You have to be aware of the opposition that is going to arise and have a plan to deal with it," [former Gov. Mitt Romney spokesman Kevin] Madden said.

Did you get that? According to a partisan Republican, the Obama White House was to blame for the school "controversy," because it should have seen the firestorm coming. It should have known that by having the President of the United States address school children and urge them to excel and stay in school, that Republicans and wingnuts would accuse him of trying to "indoctrinate" kids with a "socialist" agenda.

I mean really, how did the White House not see that one coming, right?

So to summarize: ABC News confirms that it will chase any right-wing "fight" even if it's baseless; even if it's "unfounded." In reporting those fights, ABC News will purposefully exclude Democrat voices from the story. And ABC News, while acknowledging a fight is "unfounded," will allow partisan Republicans to blame the White House for the "controversy."

R.I.P., indeed.

Crossposted at County Fair, a Media Matters blog.