Ed Driscoll

Gee, That Only Took Four Years

In 2009, Rush Limbaugh dubbed the MSM “the state-run media,” causing many in the state-run media to roll their eyes at the very suggestion that they’re in the tank for The Won. (George Stephanopoulos in bed with a Democratic administration? Heaven forfend!)

Today, White House correspondent Bill Plante of CBS — the network that brought you RatherGate — actually utters the phrase “state-run media” on CNN — the network that brought you “The Wright-Free Zone,” on a show hosted by Howard Kurtz, formerly of the Washington Post, the paper that helped bring you the JournoList:

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Bill Plante, you’ve been patrolling that building since Ronald Reagan. Does the White House press look a little self-involved, a little whiny as I said earlier, complaining about this Tiger incident?

BILL PLANTE, CBS NEWS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We’ve gotten used to being called whiny lapdogs. I’ve heard it for 30 years. But this is not about a picture of Tiger Woods. This is about access to the president. And access to the president has been cut and pushed and curtailed over every administration I’ve covered.

And here’s the nub of it, Howie: this administration has the tools to reach people on their own. They don’t need us as much. And to the extent that they’re able to do that, they’re undercutting the First Amendment, which guarantees a free press through many voices. If they put out their own material, it’s state-run media.

“Conservative radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin have been talking about state-run media since Obama was elected. It’s nevertheless extraordinary to hear this from someone at CBS News,” Noel Sheppard writes at Newsbusters. “Of course, it would have been nice for Plante to say this before Election Day.”

By the way, when will a guest on Kurtz’s CNN show mention this story to him on the air? “The Media Has a Full-Blown Embargo on Soledad O’Brien’s Ethnic Purge,” Ace writes. “There would be nothing more embarrassing to the media than a conservative guest confronting them with this, out-of-nowhere, on the Sunday shows.”

Regarding the beleaguered former CNN anchor herself, “don’t get too down over poor Soledad,” the Daily Caller’s Christopher Bedford writes, in a helpful effort to cheer us all up. “The romance may have been fleeting, but we had fun.”

Update: On the flip-side of Plante’s rare moment of clarity, an epic facepalm moment, from someone who should know better.