One of the unpleasant things you discover when you sit in major league baseball press boxes from time to time is that the press -- or at least the print media -- actually do not like close baseball games. A walk-off home run or a blown save means that they have to re-write their lead paragraph and perhaps their entire game story, leading to angry phone calls from their editors, and forcing them to work later than they might otherwise like to.I understand politics pretty well, but I enjoy it a hell of a lot more when there's a good excuse to bring baseball into it somehow.*
I was reminded of this when seeing this headline from Mark Halperin today [Tight Race! Obama 49, McCain 45]. A tight race? It certainly is a tight race, and has been all year. But this, of course, is not really the lead story. The story is that there has been a rather dramatic shift in the national polling toward Barack Obama in the past 2-4 days, coinciding with the Wall Street financial crisis. Some pundits will love this, since it gives them something fresh to talk about. But others, like those cynical beat writers in the Wrigley Field press box, will be annoyed, because it means that the the story they were telling us just a few days ago -- that the Obama campaign was in trouble, that Sarah Palin was the greatest thing since sliced bread -- has now been more or less invalidated.
Before you comment, please remember, I cite this for the baseball comparison and the media dynamics of it all, not the politics, and I have no desire for this place to turn into a political blog. This is not a fatwah on political talk, but please, respect each other and remember why we're all here.