The O'Donnell Syndrome

Dave Weigel at Slate has this observation:

Let's remember: Christine O'Donnell lost an election, in a fantastic year for Republicans, by 17 points. In New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte won an election by 23 points, and since then she's come out for a Balanced Budget Amendment, pledged not to request any earmarks, and generally started establishing herself as a pro-life female conservative star from a blue state. For some reason, though, I see 83 items in Google News about Ayotte, who will be a senator next month, and 528 items about O'Donnell, who will not. Why is this? “Lazy assignment editors” is a good temporary answer, but there's got to be something else, right?

Remember how Pew found that O'Donnell was the most reported-on Senate candidate during the election. Remember how during the year of a mammoth Republican sweep of the House, Josh Marshall decided that “I am not a witch” was the top “iconic moment” of the election. In fact, Marshall's TPM “Muckraker” spent more time reporting well-worn foibles by O'Donnell than raking any actual muck on anyone.

But it's not just O'Donnell. Sarah Palin was another huge obsession by the Left, especially Andrew Sullivan. Michelle Bachman is actually in office, but she also gets undue attention by the liberal and mainstream media, especially considering how little clout she actually has in the House.

What is it about nearly powerless conservative brown-haired women in politics that drives the media crazy? I find it a dark obsession, one which I hope a psychiatrist can explain to us.

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