Is Coleman a sore loser? The media isn't saying it

Minnesota has been without a senator for the longest stretch in the state's history and we are nearly five months past Election Day. And as the recount trial and likely appeals will drag on for months to come, why isn't anyone calling out Norm Coleman for just being a sore loser?

Media Matters explores the question, claiming the media is giving Coleman a free pass to openly stall Al Franken's official seating in the Senate while not calling him out on it. Al Gore was quickly scrutinized and torn apart during the 2000 Florida fiasco and called a "sore loser" nearly every day by the mainstream media.

When will the media get fed up with the Republican's blatant stalling game?

We're guessing that once the three-judge panel rules in favor of Franken, the media's view of Coleman will quickly change. Once Franken has been ruled the winner by two separate panels, it will be tough to make Coleman look like a good guy.

More from Media Matters:

Traditionally, candidates who lost and cried foul had a rather short window to prove their case before the media lost patience and started calling the candidate out as petulant and self-involved. Just ask Al Gore, who was hounded in the press by the specter of the "sore loser" label practically from the moment he withdrew his concession in the early morning hours following Election Day. (In Nexis, I found nearly 900 "sore loser" press mentions in Gore articles between November and December 2000.)

For some reason, Coleman has been able to mostly avoid the dreaded "sore loser" label, one that can be a career-killer for any politician. Instead, the press has largely given Coleman and his Republican supporters an open canvas on which to operate. (A Nexis search finds just a handful of "sore loser" media mentions regarding Coleman since November.)

The strange part is that Coleman's getting that press pass even though some members of the Republican Party have been brazenly open in discussing the Minnesota case in terms of a blatant stall campaign specifically designed to thwart Democrats from securing the critical 59th seat in the U.S. Senate. (A quirk in Minnesota election law means Franken, the state's winner to date, cannot be seated in the Senate while Coleman's appeals process plays out in Minnesota courts.)

Daily Kos jumped on the story with a funny headline: Sore loser Norm Coleman personifies the loser republican party.

One part of this recount that is unique and not addressed that could make Coleman's fight sound more reasonable: While Coleman's lead dropped significantly after Election Day, he technically still had the lead before the recount officially began. The recount turned the election over to Franken, which would likely cause any candidate to challenge the change.

Should that make a difference?

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