Big media has had a distinctly liberal political bias for years. Indeed, the media functions as if it is the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. Everyone in GOP politics must realize that, but too many want to look the other way and pretend that media is objective and neutral. Recent events give us a new opportunity to expose media’s bias for all to see, which will help put pressure on them to mend their ways or at least neutralize the impact of their bias with the voting public.
Two factors have changed the equation. The first is the scandals involving Brian Williams and George Stephanopolous, which have exposed for the general public the political biases of major news figures. The second is a series of issues on which the media has been shamelessly cheerleading for the liberal side. That started with a crusade, or if you prefer a jihad, for amnesty for illegal aliens beginning election night 2012, and has been followed by similar jihads for gun control, against religious liberty, and most recently against the Confederate flag.
The result is that the public is increasingly catching on to the media’s partisan and ideological bias. A poll released this week sponsored by USA Today and the First Amendment Center found that seventy percent (70%) of Americans believe that the media is intentionally biased, while only 24% believe it is not. A year ago, 41% had said they believed the media was not intentionally biased, so public opinion has moved significantly toward a realization that intentional political bias is prevalent in the news media.
Another poll released earlier this week points to the lack of impact of the media these days when it goes on a feeding frenzy on a partisan or ideological issue. A CNN poll showed public opinions virtually unchanged concerning the Confederate flag from fifteen years ago when a similar poll was taken, in spite of a massive barrage of media hype recently that vilified that flag in the strongest terms. In the recent poll, 57% said they regarded the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of southern pride, within the polling margin of error of the 59% who took that position fifteen years ago. Only 33% said they saw it as a symbol of racism. The American public, it would seem, shrugged off the media jihad against the Confederate flag. This was confirmed by the USA Today poll which found that only 35% believed that government should be allowed to deny issuance of license plates to a group that planned to use a Confederate flag on them while 56% opposed government being able to deny them use of the flag.
Conservatives need to drive this advantage over the media home while they are vulnerable. We need to do that by constantly denouncing the media for its bias, so that the public continues to remember that when they hear the biased reporting that we know will come as the election campaign heats up. We need candidates and party leaders who are fired up to do that. All should be supplied with opposition research on major media outlets and specific examples showing bias at each so they can use these as talking points when opportunities arise.
Republicans bungled a major opportunity to drive the point about media bias home when the Stephanopolous scandal broke over his connections with the Clinton organization and failure to disclose them. Unfortunately, we had no leadership from any party officials standing up and demanding Stephanopolous be removed from political reporting for the 2016 campaign or even fired. Rick Santorum gave Stephanopolus his first campaign interview and [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] went public saying he had no problems with Stepanopo;ous’ reporting. This was political malpractice. Santorum and Rubio did just the opposite of what should have been done.
One candidate who understands the need to go after the media is [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]. On the Glenn Beck program this week, Cruz proclaimed that ”the mainstream media are partisans who protect Barack Obama and are Ready for Hillary”. He added that there was no such thing as a ”nice” reporter and criticized those candidates who wanted the media ”to like them”, adding ”they are not going to like us; they hate us”. Other presidential candidates need to understand the necessity of doing this and keep up a united front on the issue of media bias as much as possible.
In particular, when it comes to general election presidential debates, the GOP needs to insist on half the debate moderators being conservative, instead of all liberals as in the past elections. Making an issue of media bias now will help accomplish that later. As to primary debates, there is simply no excuse to permit liberal moderators.
Politicians have called out media for bias before. Richard Nixon used Spiro Agnew as his point man on the media, with Agnew hammering them as ”nattering nabobs of negativism.” Senator Jesse Helms in every one of his campaigns used to constantly make it a point that he had to run again seven opponents, the Democrat nominee and the editors of the six largest newspapers in the state. The recent parliamentary campaign in the UK featured Prime Minister David Cameron loudly and repeatedly calling out the BBC for its political bias.
Now, more than ever, conservatives in the US have a golden opportunity to greatly reduce the influence of the biased media in our elections. We need to not let it slip away.
But we also need to try to educate our elected leaders not to cave in to media feeding frenzies. Politicians like [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ], [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ], Mike Pence, and Nikki Haley need to learn to grow backbones instead of surrendering at the first opportunity. And we certainly need a presidential nominee with that kind of backbone.