POWER DAILY – Media bias works against Democrats
There’s an enduring imbalance when mainstream media reports on Democrats and Republicans - one of these two antagonists routinely gets better coverage. And it’s not who you think.
Media narratives often depict every internal conflict among Democrats as a sign that they can’t get their act together. Civil war is proclaimed anytime there isn’t perfect consensus among Democratic leaders and backbenchers. Any tactical defeat is seen as proof of some deep incapacity to govern - of inherent weakness.
By contrast, the Republican Party, run by a psychotic retiree in Florida and housing a cast of characters who would fit nicely in a Star Wars cantina scene, is often depicted as the model of ideologically driven efficiency.
It’s almost as if reporters need to over-correct for their personal, left-leaning viewpoints by treating Democrats with extreme skepticism, while Republicans often get an easy pass.
We’re seeing this phenomenon play now. As Democrats inch closer to delivering Biden’s stimulus promise, a historic $1.9 trillion dollar package that will inject much needed vitality into the economy, rescue people in crisis, open schools and fund police departments, media coverage continues to portray the Democrats as hapless.
Meanwhile, Republicans’ rear-guard action – slowing down the rescue package, blocking Biden’s nominees to score partisan points with the GOP base – is depicted as tactically brilliant, moves giving them tremendous power beyond their numbers.
The asymmetry of this coverage was of course quite visible during the Trump regime. Media reports constantly portrayed Trump as a brilliant 5-dimensional chess player that outsmarted dopey Dems at every turn. It literally took years before the media started calling out his lies and general perfidy.
This anti-Democratic bias in mainstream media is a critical tool in the Republican toolbox. It gives them a built-in advantage in almost every Washington fight. Republicans are routinely depicted as smarter, more audacious, willing to take outsized risks for power.
Democrats, by contrast, are often shown as earnest dopes driven by compassion and a desire not to offend, basically, loopy leftists who are fundamentally weak.
But maybe, now there’s a new narrative possible.
Some background: Democrats learned the lessons of 2009 when a young, aspirational President Obama thought his election heralded a new era of patriotic compromise.
Like many Democrats, the Obama team believed that by employing logic and empirical evidence to make its arguments, to craft its proposals, they would be able to bring over enough Republicans to create a national consensus.
Let’s get together and solve big problems, fellas.
What Obama did not foresee, however, is that Republicans had abandoned all real interest in governing, in getting things done for the nation. Beyond the exhausted rhetoric, the party had entered a moral decline where success was defined by how much power you have, and crucially, how much you can deliver for your donors.
This is not Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party, and it makes Dwight Eisenhower’s Republicanism seem like socialism by comparison.
Yet, it remains to be seen if the media will report fairly on what Democrats are achieving. Even now, the media is creating a false standard. While Republicans refuse to compromise on anything, it’s Democrats that get blamed for supposedly not being bipartisan enough.
Here are three very early success that may or may not get the proper coverage from the mainstream press:
Vaccine – There is no more important issue facing Americans than emerging from this pandemic hell. The big leaps in availability and distribution of vaccines are a major, though unfinished, accomplishment of the Biden team. And while Trump continues to act as if he personally invented the vaccines, he put his usual incompetence into overdrive – there were not enough vaccines bought, not enough distribution mechanism developed, and Trump washed his hands of the last mile, leaving it to the different states to figure out how to actually, you know, vaccinate.
Stimulus – The $1.9 trillion package that is working its way through Congress will be transformative if passed. The fact that it’s advancing without Republican support is demonstration that Democrats are determined not to let bad faith Republicans drive the country off a cliff in order to win the next election. Ad while there is tremendous uncertainty about the economy and how fast employment will recover, it is clear the Biden team is on the cusp of a major achievement that could very well fuel a dramatic economic comeback later this year and, crucially, going into next year’s midterm elections.
Foreign Affairs – Early days, of course, but Biden has reinserted the United States into the democratic world. Gone are the fawning love letters to Little Rocket Man and Papa Putin. In overtures to European and Asian allies, Biden has signaled with clarity that the U.S. will once again be a bastion for word order, democratic development – and an implacable enemy of the emerging totalitarian powers that would seek to subvert the world order in their twisted image.
VERDICT – We’ve been conditioned by whining conservatives, who never pass up the opportunity to self-victimize, that the media is biased against them. I think it’s the reverse - the fear of being seen as liberal has turned many mainstream outfits into pro-Republican mouthpieces.
POWER VIDEO: Good news on the unemployment front from CBS News:
POWER TWEET – Republicans are not sending us their best people.
POWER READ 1 – Trump continues to divide Republicans. In Reuters:
“Former President Donald Trump intensified his war with the Republican establishment on Thursday by attacking Karl Rove, a longtime Republican strategist who criticized Trump’s first speech since leaving office for being long on grievances but short on vision.
“He’s a pompous fool with bad advice and always has an agenda,” Trump complained in a statement issued by his office in Palm Beach, Florida.
“Rove, the architect of Republican George W. Bush’s presidential victories in 2000 and 2004, wrote in an opinion article in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that Trump’s speech last Sunday to the Conservative Political Action Conference was wanting.
“Rove noted that in a straw poll of CPAC participants, only 68% wanted Trump to run for president again in 2024, while 32% did not want him to run or had no opinion.”
POWER READ 2 – Can I see my friends after vaccination? Can I hang out at a BBQ? The answer is coming. In CBS News:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is finalizing guidance aimed at clarifying what Americans who have received COVID-19 vaccines should and shouldn't do, according to two sources at the agency familiar with its drafting.
The upcoming guidance, first reported by Politico, is expected to include that fully vaccinated individuals should be able to gather in small groups with other people who have also been vaccinated. The CDC currently does not recommend in-person gatherings with the general public, saying "gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice."
“Even for people who have been fully vaccinated, other mitigation measures will still be recommended, including wearing a mask in public and social distancing.”
POWER QUOTE – Media bias distorts our perception of reality.
“The bias of the mainstream media is toward sensationalism, conflict, and laziness.” — Jon Stewart