Yep. They like to tout "experience" as who has been in Washington longer spending other people's money.
Since those are the only people that they deal with on a daily basis, that's the only kind of experience the media understands. They have massive Washington bureaus, but when was the last time that they actually interviewed the governor of Alaska, or any other state besides NY or CA (excepting a scandal)? They didn't have a clue who she was until the announcement came down (although they were sure able to dig up every bit of rumor and innuendo in the state within a very short period of time, thanks to the fact that the guys who they did know, the fixers and execs, had lots of axes to grind). Notice how for the first twenty-four hour news cycle, almost everything that the media reported about her came from the Wikipedia article on her and the official Alaska website.