One of the things I hear expressed most often from other conservatives including fellow conservative writers and commentators is the frustration about getting “the message” out, whether it be over proposed legislation/policy ideas or countering false media narratives about conservatives in general.
While conservatives typically fare better in pitching their message to local and regional media outfits, historically they have had an uphill climb in terms of selling that message on a national level. The reason for this is because, unlike the local media outlets who are more closely connected to the people reading/watching their coverage, the national media doesn’t feel a similar responsibility to get things right the first time around, and have few if any compunctions about knowingly running off half-cocked on a story as long as the story “proves” a political/social narrative they want to push.
Worse, those same media outlets rarely feel any obligation to their readers to correct the record after the fact. And even if they do eventually get around to doing so, the damage has already been done – which was the entire point. Mission accomplished.
As frustrating as I know that is, I feel like the tide is turning in favor of conservatives being able to successfully counter liberal narratives on hot button issues. We’ve seen it with Critical Race Theory. I mean think about it. Democrats like Virginia gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe are running away from the idea as fast as they can. NBC News “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd has also shown a desperation to clamp down on the movement against CRT by lying and saying, as McAuliffe has, that it’s not taught in public schools.
CRT has become so toxic now for Democrats thanks to the conservative pushback against it that even the most entrenched and “woke” among them – and their national media allies – are retreating from it in fear. Doesn’t mean the battle has been won; it just means that so far the counter-message to Democrats on this issue has been effective.
The same can be said, in my opinion, on all the hubbub over President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. To be sure, Biden’s a poor seller of his agenda no matter what it is, but try as they might, Democrats are losing the messaging war on it which is why, in part, they can’t get any traction with Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
During a presser today with Democratic leaders on the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee including Rep. Ted Lieu, the California Congressman who is also the co-chair of the committee made a rather eye-opening admission/plea that would seem to confirm or at the very least lend credence to my theory that conservatives are winning the messaging wars on key issues of national import.
During the presser, Lieu admitted to the reporters in attendance that Democrats “rely on you” to get out “the truth” about their legislation, and implored them to do so on the Build Back Better agenda so they would have a better chance of selling it:
“And we do, in part, rely on all of you to convey the truth and actual facts,” he added. “And if you all want to write about this amazing tax cut for families and children that’s really transformative, that would be really helpful.”
One of his colleagues on the committee Rep. Joe Neguse (Colorado) had a similar message:
“Most of the coverage right now and the better part of the last few months has been on process, which of course, makes sense because we are engaged in a complex legislative process to get these bills across the finish line,” he said. “But that, in some respects obfuscates away from the substance of these incredibly important, consequential pieces of legislation that will have lasting impact on the American people and American families.”
Translations? Come on, media – do what you normally do for us and sell the phony bill of goods to the American people that we have so far been unable to.
If I’m right on this (and y’all know I am – heh), where are conservatives finding the most success in getting out the message?
Fox News, of course, helps to a certain extent – especially when Tucker Carlson gets going on something. But I think the shaming campaigns against fact-checkers and national media reporters have had an impact, forcing some of them to dig a little deeper into the things they report because they know they’re going to get ripped new ones on social media (and at conservative websites like this one) if they don’t.
While that’s actually been the case for years now, over the last couple of years in particular conservatives have fine-tuned things a bit and learned how to better band together to in so many ways force media outlets and fact-checkers to do what they’re supposed to do rather than what their left-wing political leanings (and woke senior editors) urge them to.
Are conservatives always successful in these efforts? No. We’ve still got a long way to go and no matter how successful we become, the media is always going to do their thing – and we need to be prepared for it. But we’re getting better at countering the left by using their own tools against them (the media, fact-checkers, social media and the like). Plus, it doesn’t hurt when Democrats like McAuliffe become their own worst enemies.
Ted Lieu and the other Dems on that committee know they’re losing their grip on the BBB messaging and have now taken to directly imploring the media to step in and play their traditional clean-up role. As far as I’m concerned, that’s as good of a signal as any that conservatives can win messaging battles on a national level as long as they keep their foot on the gas and don’t cede any ground with the media. Because putting on the pressure is the only way some of them will ever learn.