Via HotAir/Salon, here's Shepard Smith at his arch and acidic best, pushing back against the contention of comedian Nick DiPaolo that the media was "in the tank" for Barack Obama. I think you'll agree that Smith manages to make a lot of sense!
"Oh, please...the mainstream media reflected what was happening in this nation. It did not drive it. The blogs didn't drive this movement. The media didn't drive this movement. Barack Obama did not lose this election. It was his to lose, it was not John McCain's to win. The Republicans had no shot unless the Democrats gave it to them, and they didn't. And to blame the media is a cop out and ridiculous. We are always here to be blamed by people like you who enjoy that activity. We always will be. When the Democrats lost last time, it was our fault. When the Republicans lost this time, it was our fault. It's not."
To follow up on Smith's point, I'll note that in my opinion, the perceived favor given to Obama by the press -- leaving aside those examples of Matthewsian leg-tingles -- had much to do with the fact that his campaign was a functional organization that, on balance, made a year-long series of structurally sound decisions, won the support of voters, and secured their favor with a steady and sensible response to the financial crisis once the race became captive to those events. By contrast, I don't think it's particularly hot-blooded to look back at the McCain campaign and suggest that it was a dysfunctional organization that, on balance, made a year-long series of unsound decisions, and responded erratically to the financial crisis.
In essence, it seems like the 2008 campaign builds a strong case that media responds more favorably to success than it does to failure. This would be non-controversial in just about any other field of endeavor, but this is politics, where paranoiacs like Nick DiPaolo somehow get an audience.
[UPDATED: Alex Balk goes ahead and says what I refrained from saying, having woken up this morning on the "Let's just let the fact that there's some weird dude dressed like a Lieutenant Colonel in the Leprechaun Army sitting there go" side of the bed.]