The Washington Post may have been first in declaring the coming midterms “kind of—and apologies to Seinfeld here—an election about nothing.” But the Daily Beast chimed in: “America seems resigned to a Seinfeld election in 2014—a campaign about nothing.” And New York magazine noted (and embraced) the cliché: The midterm election “has managed to earn a nickname from the political press: the ‘Seinfeld Election,’ an election about nothing.”
Soon enough this description was popping up everywhere—the New Republic, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg, Politico, and many others. The 2014 Midterms, the Seinfeld Election.
Others posited something even worse. “The 2014 campaign has been the most boring and uncreative campaign I can remember,” wrote New York Times columnist David Brooks. That wasn’t harsh enough for Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post, who went further. The election isn’t just “boring,” he wrote, “it’s vapid and inconsequential.”
The big television networks seem to agree. The signature newscasts of ABC, NBC, and CBS have barely found the upcoming elections worthy of notice. According to the Media Research Center, ABC’s World News Tonight didn’t run a single story about the midterms between September 1 and October 20. Over that same seven-week period, NBC and CBS evening newscasts ran just 11 and 14 stories, respectively. (It probably goes without saying that the networks found the prospective Democratic triumph in the 2006 midterms much more compelling. Over the same time period that year, NBC ran 65 stories about the midterms, CBS ran 58, and ABC ran 36.)
The MSM only views one side of the political spectrum in America as having a legitimate worldview; the other side is viewed with anger and suspicion (the MSNBC-style racism everywhere knee-jerk), condescendingly (the Peter Jennings “temper tantrum” crack on the night the biggest sea-change in American politics in 60 years occurred in November of 1994), and/or as a force whose motives are so alien, as to be impenetrable. That last one is most often seen accompanied by that weird “I literally can’t understand why” twitch the left has lest it commit doubleplus ungood crimethink. These are very much the same Social Justice Warrior motives that the GamerGate crowd is pushing back against, except that newspapers and network news broadcasts can’t been seen as being in fullblown open-SJW mode, lest they alienate low information voters who rely upon them for their headlines. So we get nihilism instead, during those periods when the GOP appears poised to make gains.
Of course, there’s a much more terse explanation for all of the above…