Days of Change

Media Circus

March 1, 2015
1 Comment

Republican candidates and the featured speakers at CPAC, who are going to be the Republican candidates, all took their shots at the media. Scott Walker had the most to gripe about, having been confronted with out of nowhere questions and straight-up lies reported about him. Other candidates will have to face similar problems as they become more viable.

There is a difference between complaining about media and handling media. Bill Clinton had a generally adversarial relationship with the media from his first campaign. However, due to a lull in economic and foreign events during his term, there was very little to attack Clinton on for policies that the media generally agreed with. In politics, the media galvanized against Newt Gingrich.

George W. Bush tended to ignore the media’s legitimacy. He derided certain figures, refused to talk about what drugs he did or didn’t do as a younger man and flat-out denied allegations about his National Guard service that turned out to be falsified. His actions alone got him through September 11 and gave him a second term in 2004. Eventually, public perception tanked his approval rating, something that now goes backup every year.

Then we have Barack Obama. The media ignored the existence of Obama, leaving it to pundits and editorial writers to praise him without the pretense of objectivity. When he was running for the nomination, they attacked Hillary. In the general election, they attacked John McCain and Sarah Palin. Now that he’s the president, it seems that the media created some kind of respect for the office that lets them ignore his faults again.

What we should know by now is that no GOP news is good news. Everyone wants to talk to candidates, but few want to promote them. Even the Obama campaign relied heavily on friendly, left-wing media. The Republicans have much of the successful blogosphere, Fox News and nearly all of talk radio. I wouldn’t even pick up the phone for the New York Times. Tomorrow, the Times will be picking up yesterday’s fish.


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