Friday, November 14, 2014
Cue the applause: How the news media helped the GOP cruise to victory
“Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other. Journalists should encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media; admit mistakes and correct them promptly, and abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.” The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics
You would have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to see the coordinated cooperation the Republican Party received from the news media to bring about their so-called historic win from a 37% voter turnout, one of the lowest in history. Whoop-Dee-Doo! Don’t be misled that Republicans had some great ground game and people were falling all over themselves to jump at the chance to vote for them. No! They’re still more unpopular than President Obama, but what they did have was an effective media campaign that doomed Democrats’ chances by forcing them to abandon their twice-elected Democratic president.
Republicans did not win because they had a clear vision for the Country or they had earned the respect of the American people for helping the Country get back on its feet after the worse economic downturn since the Great Depression. GOP voters did not care that Republicans in Congress had shut down the government, threatened to default on the full faith and credit of the United States. It didn’t matter to GOP voters that they had obstructed every effort to make the Country fairer and more equal. All GOP voters wanted were candidates that could beat the Democrats and were willing to punish Barack Obama for being a black man occupying space in the White House other than as the butler or cook.
Republicans had great cooperation from conservative bloggers who behaved in their typical rabid dog fashion and intimidated spineless Democratic candidates in so-called red states by tying them to Conservatives’ #1 nemesis…Barack Obama. They see him as their bitter enemy who was unbeatable in two presidential elections. They still haven’t gotten over it. Even progressive bloggers wrote an onslaught of highly critical pieces which surely made some Democratic voters think, why the hell am I voting for these people?
One way the Sunday news shows helped Republicans’ efforts to suppress Democratic voter turnout was by simply making voter suppression a non-issue. For some folk, if it’s not in the news then it must not be true. Another way was that they relied on journalists like Bob Schieffer, host of CBS Face the Nation, and Chuck Todd, host of Meet the Press to carry water for them.
Schieffer generally favor Republican guests and the door to his CBS studio is always opened to critics and haters of Barack Obama. Schieffer supports the conservative position on issues and regularly levels abrasive criticism against the President. To have Bob Schieffer, host of the highest rated Sunday news show, catering to your Party's point-of-view is a win-win for the GOP no matter how you analyze it.
Todd gained more GOP fans when he joined the merry band of conservative and progressive hypocrites on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show excoriating Alison Grimes for refusing to answer whether she voted for Barack Obama. Todd, a staunch critic of the President and the Democratic Party in general, declared that Grimes had disqualified herself.
Chuck Todd: “The idea of -- I'm sorry even to say you regret your vote that would almost seem as disingenuous. But that is -- can Kentuckians expect her to cast a tough vote on anything? Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything? You want to be a U.S. Senator? If you can't say -- if you can't find a way to stand behind your party's president, you can disagree with him but can't answer that basic question and come across looking ridiculous. I think she disqualified herself.”
Republicans thanked him publicly for his cooperation by using Todd in an ad against Grimes, which probably drove a few thousand Republican viewers to his failing show and drove even more viewers away from the Democratic candidate. Though I was not a fan of Grimes and definitely did not support her strategy of dividing the party into Clinton Democrats and Obama Democrats, I joined the chorus of those calling Chuck Todd unethical for interjecting his personal opinion about a candidate; thereby giving an advantage to the opposing candidate. He should have remained fair and objective, especially as a news director for a major news organization. But I don’t know anyone who thinks Chuck Todd has an objective bone in his body.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) bought into the GOP narrative, peddled by the news media, as to what Democrats were up against in the midterms, and out of fear, they sidelined their most valuable player Barack Obama. Their strategy was not to lose. They never had a strategy to win.
How the news media helped Republicans cruise to victory
1. Convince white men that the black President’s approval rating of 42% to 45% is the lowest of any white president before him and only conservative white men can save the Republic from the black guy. Repeat it constantly and avoid comparing his approval to previous presidents. Have a slew of prominent white men, whom all vote Republican, on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC attacking every decision the black guy makes. If you listen to cable news, Barack Obama has the lowest approval rating of any president in history, which is a bald-faced lie.
2. Distract from the Democratic Party’s economic successes and the fact that 10 million Americans now have healthcare because President Obama and the Democrats in Congress risked their political futures to pass it. How to distract? Push media coverage painting the highly successful Democratic black president as “the other” and his policies of equal pay, education reform, equality for all is bad for America, particularly white Americans. Keep comparing him to former presidents, all of whom are white, to drive home the point to white men and older white voters that when they look back on the Country’s greatness, white men were in charge.
Of course that strategy counted on silence by minority reporters from pointing out that the good, the bad, and the ugly of America happened under the rule of white men until just six years ago when the first non-white male was elected as President of The United States. Before then, it had been over 200 years of total white male domination. A lot of ugly sh*t happened during that time which created a stain on America’s image that can never be washed away.
3. Instill fear by making white Americans fearful of an African disease, an imminent attack by a crazed Muslim terrorist group, and an influx of Hispanic children crossing the border carrying diseases. The news media was culpable in pushing GOP hysterics that Ebola was spreading rampant on the continent of Africa. It was so effective that, not surprisingly, gullible Democratic candidates jumped on the bandwagon of wanting to impose a travel ban on ALL of Africa, not just the infected areas.
4. Force Democrats to adopt GOP’s preferred strategy by pushing candidates into a corner to see President Obama’s approval rating through the lens of the GOP and Republican-leaning independent voters, thereby; ignoring his 76% approval rating amongst all Democrats and 87% approval amongst black voters. Republicans got a major lift from the news media for carrying out this specific strategy.
5. Trick Democrats to adopt a win with white only voters’ strategy by placating to that strain of anti-Obama voters in the Democratic Party who have racial animosity toward the black president and started voting Republican because of it. Republicans and the media knew this strategy would alienate black voters, and they selectively put white Democratic candidates on the spot to defend the black guy at the expense of losing a more likely white racist voter. The Democrats chose the more likely white racist voter. This strategy infuriated black folk and their trust level for white politicians took a dramatic nose-dive. Blacks, who didn’t vote, point to how Democrats treated President Obama as a reason not to trust white politicians. Quote unquote.
Cable and news organizations got into the mix with scathing criticism of President Obama and his Administration and unrelenting negative news coverage designed to scare white folk and weaken already vulnerable Democratic candidates. After the GOP won, all of a sudden, presto…Americans don’t have to be afraid anymore.
Fox News role in GOP win
Everybody knows that Fox News Channel is the media arm of the Republican Party and a platform for the conservative movement. They’re unapologetic about it. So, of course, they were very instrumental in helping Republicans scare white folk and capitalize on what is historically low voter turnout in midterm elections. They didn’t have to implement some specific strategy, they simply kept doing what they do every single day, paint Barack Obama as a Kenyan-born Muslim socialist who wants to scrap the U.S. Constitution in favor of Sharia Law, and drill down into the subconscious of white folk that the black guy is coming for their guns and their Bibles.
CNN role in GOP win
CNN, that bastion of negative news coverage, probably wasn’t asked to cooperate with the GOP in taking over Congress. They volunteered because wherever the majority of white folk are on issues, there is CNN promoting that position. So, no way would they be left out of gaining some of that anti-Obama rating from Fox News. They just threw a ton of negative sh*t out there about President Obama and the Democrats and whatever stuck, they ran with it. They didn’t try to be fair, balanced, or ethical. Of course, they think they’re a pillar of integrity. Barf…barf…barf!
MSNBC role in GOP win
That bunch of progressives on MSNBC, the ‘liberal my ass’ channel, played a role in the GOP win too, maybe unwittingly but their negative coverage fed into black folk and many Americans’ distrust of politicians in general. Chris Hayes (All In With Chris Hayes) and Rachel Maddow (The Rachel Maddow Show) are both equal opportunity offenders, so Democratic candidates should never consider them a friendly progressive venue. That distinction is reserved for progressive/libertarian guests like Glenn Greenwald. Hayes and Maddow gave their viewers a lot of unflattering facts about Democratic and Republican candidates that would make some first time voters and young voters say, ‘F**k this, I don’t trust any of these people in either party.’
MSNBC content writers for Ed Schultz (The Ed Show) and Al Sharpton (Politics Nation) shows must be GOP moles because 80% of the content for those shows is about how disgusting Republicans are. Like people don’t already know that. I would bet you a dollar to a dime that relentless coverage of GOP antics had a demoralizing effect on Democratic voters and apathy ensued. Some Americans probably thought not even voting will stop the GOP. You would expect two boisterous bleeding heart liberals to focus primarily on the positives about America, instilling optimism, a platform to educate viewers about how the political process works, and so on. It’s not like Schultz and Sharpton are journalists or claim to be unbiased. So having a format like that would not be out of line because they are billed as opinion shows. The shows’ content writers limit reporting on the great things that President Obama and Democrats have achieved in the last six years. They spend way too much time on how pathetic the GOP is. Like I said, we already know that.
I stopped watching both shows (, and MSNBC in general,) because I simply grew tired of them regurgitating GOP hysterics while progressive gains sometimes were tabled for later on in the show, like the last fifteen minutes, or barely discussed.
Even if I didn’t mention the king of hypocrisy Joe Scarborough’s role in the GOP win, you would know that Mr. Hypocrite, host of MSNBC's the Morning Joe Show, had a hand in depressing the Democratic vote. Surely, the guy writes his own content, and it is all about how bad of a president the black guy is compared to previous white presidents. He had a slew of left-leaning guests who were big supporters of the Democratic Party before Barack Obama became the Party’s standard bearer. These ‘I don’t like the black guy’ Democratic operatives were more than willing to pour water on the Democrats chances for victory.
Black activists and educators’ role in GOP win
We can’t leave out cooperation the GOP received from black activists and educators who have an ongoing beef with President Obama for not showing enough of his “blackness.” What the hell does that mean anyway?
Baptist minister Michael Eric Dyson and Melissa Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC The Melissa Harris Perry Show, issued a venomous attack on President Obama regarding what the two perceived as a lack of their preferred response to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Surely, both being respected voices in academics, knowingly or unknowingly, convinced some blacks to stay home because it would not make a difference. Dyson seemed to want the black president to raise his fist and say, ‘F the police,’ while Harris-Perry signaled she wanted him to apologize for racism and all other ills of society.
Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, the two poverty pimps, played a major role in riling up poor black folk to distrust ALL politicians, even the black guy in the White House. They have hoodwinked them into believing that the answer to all of their money woes rests in the hands of Barack Obama and the reason they’re still broke or living paycheck-to-paycheck is because the uppity black president doesn’t care about poor people. Smiley and West probably tell their anti-Obama supporters to pooh-pooh on JFK’s famous quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Poor people should be the first in line at the polls in every election.
If Democrats had been fortunate enough to have this degree of media cooperation and outside support to get out their message, they could have won too. Oh wait…screech…. back up…nothing was going to save Democrats this election cycle because they let the news media and Republicans sucker them into believing that President Obama, their most valuable asset, was a drag on the party.
Besides Democratic voters expect a hell of a lot more from their candidates than GOP voters do and will not support candidates who are too spineless to stand up for their convictions. Democrats tried to run away from being Democrats and it backfired on them. It was a colossal failure of judgment on their part.
Oh well, if you don’t believe in something, you will fall for anything, and Democrats fell hard for GOP messaging. Of course, the GOP could not have been victorious without help from the news media. Cue the applause.
That's my yada yada and I’m sticking to it!