As the President struggles to regain control over the health control debate after a disastrous summer, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post says the media have some soul-searching to do of their own. "What if our media-created impression of the meetings is wrong?" he asked. Conservative columnists say Dionne is probably right, but that it's liberals who are to blame. Curiously, a couple voices on the left swallow their pride and agree.

  • Liberal Media Has Only Itself to Blame, writes Jonah Goldberg at the National Review. He says it wasn't the conservatives that got all wee-weed up about angry town halls. "This is the same E. J. Dionne who not two weeks ago was fretting the "politics of the jackboot," warning that these town-hall meetings were the manifestation of some sort of crypto-fascist uprising of angry white militias." Goldberg says, "most conservative columnists insisted these protests were little more than democracy in action."
  • Blame the Democrats, says Michael Goldfarb at The Weekly Standard. "The DNC dictated the terms of the coverage of August town halls, they spent weeks building up the story of out of control right-wingers -- with plenty of help from the Democratic leadership in Congress (Pelosi and Hoyer called these voters "un-American"). It was always a risky strategy, and as predicted here the day it was launched, it backfired."
  • Yup, Liberals Are to Blame, Matt Yglesias admits at Think Progress. He says the debate, "wasn't helped by the rise of a left-wing mass media (blogs, Rachel Maddow, etc.) that was more interested in poking fun at the nuttiest voices on the right than in trying to amplify the concerns of pro-reform voters."
  • We've Been Had, dday sheepishly says at Hullabaloo. "Cable nets were looking for some action, and we all went right along with them." He says it's embarrassing. "Your liberal media. Watch the health industry ads skyrocket as a token of thanks for their attempt to kill health care reform." There's more evidence of our misadventure today, he writes. " Keep this in mind when you hear the story about the bitten finger today on an endless loop."