This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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A New and Dangerous Level of Biased Reporting
Note: For this article, the term “Mainstream Media” refers to The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and NBC. In Part 1 of this article I will describe how the media bias works. In Part 2, I will recommend specific measures and strategies that Republicans can employ to confront and neutralize the biased media.
The fight against media bias will be long and difficult.
Media bias in favor of the Democrat party has been a part of the U.S. political landscape since the 1960s. However, since the election of President Donald Trump, it has reached a new and dangerous level. The Mainstream Media has basically declared war on President Trump! Even though he is presiding over the best economy in 50 years, the media’s coverage of President Trump is 90-95% negative. They continue to accuse him of everything from colluding with the Russians to steal the 2016 presidential election, to being a liar, a sexist, a racist, and a white supremacist.
As the media continues to intensify its attacks on President Trump and the Republican party, it is clear that decision time has arrived for Republicans. They can either ignore media bias and hope it goes away, or accept the fact that the media is waging a full-on war against them – and join President Trump in fighting back ferociously!
Part 1: How Media Bias Works
The media’s “tipping of the scales” in support of the Democrats happens in three ways. The first is what I call the SPINNING or framing of real news in a way designed to make Republicans look bad and Democrats look good. An excellent example of this is how the MSM reports on the separation of children from their parents (or fake parents, as is often the case) when they illegally cross the border into the USA.
The media “spin” on this issue is designed to make Republicans and President Trump look like “monsters” who have no concern for children. They show heart-wrenching footage of small children in cages and distraught mothers who were separated from their children when they crossed the border illegally.
There is no mention of the fact that this is largely a continuation of the same policy that was in place under the Obama Administration. Nor do they tell you that many of the photos of children in cages were taken while Obama was president, or that separation of children from their parents is also what happens in the general population when people commit crimes. There is no balanced presentation of the facts – just media “spinning” designed to have an emotional impact, and to demonize President Trump and the Republicans.
The second way that the media supports the Democrats is through the SELECTION of what stories become news, and which stories will receive amplified coverage. Currently a major factor that the MSM weighs in determining whether a story is newsworthy is their perception of how it will affect President Trump. If they feel a story will damage President Trump, they will run with it for as long as possible. They spent two years promoting the phony Trump-Russia Collusion story because they thought it was an effective way to damage and/or end Trump’s presidency. Now that the Mueller report has largely discredited that story, they have mostly walked away from it.
Highly Coordinated Repetition
An excellent article by Byron York in the August 16 edition of The Washington Examiner opens this way: “Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, said recently that, after the Mueller report, the paper has to shift the focus of its coverage from the Trump-Russia affair to the president’s alleged racism.” This is a stunning, though not surprising, admission. Though there is arguably less racism in the USA in 2019 than at any point in our country’s history, “Racism” (especially the president’s alleged racism) is the selected story that the MSM will be promoting as we head toward the 2020 election.
The third way that the media supports the Democrats is through a highly coordinated repetition of Democrat party talking points. We have all seen examples of this. Most of us remember when Hillary Clinton collapsed into a van at the 9/11 Memorial Service in September of 2016. Within 2 hours, every mainstream TV network was repeating the identical talking point that Hillary was ill with pneumonia, but had bravely decided to “power through” because she was a patriotic American.
A more current example is the coordinated use by every mainstream media organization, of the term “undocumented immigrants”. This is of course a highly coordinated use of misleading terminology. It is designed to reinforce the Democrat party talking point that Republicans are hostile to immigrants, and to obscure the fact that these people are actually not immigrants.
They are actually illegal aliens. They are not nice immigrants who have lost their documents as the media wants you to believe. They are people who entered the USA illegally, and are engaged in criminal activity by continuing to stay in the country illegally. However, to the MSM, supporting the Democrat position is a much higher priority than reporting accurately.
Part 2: How to fight back effectively against Media Bias.
As mentioned above, the mainstream media coordinates their talking points with the Democrats. Unfortunately, the Republicans have no coordinated response to counter the full-on attack coming at them from the media. This must change! To his credit, President Trump calls out the media for their bias loudly, repeatedly, and effectively. However, the rest of the Republicans, with very few exceptions, stay meekly and timidly silent. This must also change.
In order to fight media bias effectively, Republicans must understand that they are in a long running war against a media establishment that is out to destroy them. They must build and implement the necessary organizational infrastructure to effectively fight that war. In my opinion, they should create something like a “Media Response Center” which is empowered to coordinate with the White House, Congressional Republicans, and the RNC to ensure a unified Republican message– and to provide a fast, hard-hitting response to all instances of media bias.
The Republican Media Resource Center
The Republican Media Resource Center should be staffed with top quality, experienced professionals who are skilled in media messaging and at addressing “quick response” situations. I see three key areas that require urgent action.
A. First, they must forcefully work to expose and reverse false narratives and misleading terminology that the media uses to frame issues to benefit Democrats. To return to the previous example, until now Republicans have allowed the media to ingrain the highly misleading term “undocumented immigrants” into public discourse.
By meekly accepting the media’s use of this misleading phrase, they have made it much easier for the media to move from that “victory” to the next step in their narrative – which is to claim that since Republicans are against “undocumented immigrants,” they must be “anti-immigrant,” and are therefore racists.
If the Republican party was a medical organization, they could be sued for mal-practice. By allowing the Democrats and their media servants to frame the debate, and to choose the terminology used, they have made it much more difficult for themselves to win any public argument. Republicans have been asleep at the wheel far too long. The fight-back must begin now! But to win the fight, they must have highly skilled media professionals in place, and empowered to help lead the fight.
Confronting the Biased Media
B. Second, they must teach all Republican elected officials who have media contact how to step in and challenge the biased narrative of the media when necessary. Usually this must be done at the exact moment that the media begins framing an argument or discussion to benefit Democrats. This is a critical skill for all Republican officials to have – but especially for those who often give interviews or make appearance on TV shows such as Meet The Press.
Can you imagine how effective it would be if the Republican at the table had the self-confidence to step in say something like, “Chuck, I know you are a Democrat, but this is supposed to be an impartial forum. If you want to repeat Democrat Party talking points – you should quit this job and work at the DNC.” Again, the Republicans should hire media savvy outside professionals to coach Republican politicians on how to confront media bias immediately, confidently, and effectively. It will be money well spent.
C. Third, Pin nicknames and monikers on the media. President Trump is exceptionally good at creating nicknames that stick, such as “Crooked Hillary.” This technique works well when there is a strong element of truth in the nickname. His use of the term FAKE NEWS works because the biased media does put out a lot of stories that are either untrue, or at minimum, misleading.
I personally like the term “Servants of the Democrat Party.” I use it repeatedly on Twitter when talking about the media. I often get replies like, “I hadn’t thought of it that way – but you are right, the media really are Servants of the Democrats.” A highly coordinated repetition of monikers like FAKE NEWS or “Servants of the Democrats” will accomplish two very important objectives.
First, it resonates with many people and keeps reminding them about how biased the media has become. Second, and just as important, it puts the media on the defensive. It makes them and their bias the issue and forces them to respond. Once they start protesting that they are not biased, Republicans will know they have won. The door will then be wide open for Republicans to make media bias a larger issue for public discussion. They can point out that while only 35% of the general population are Democrats, over 90% of mainstream media reporters support Democrats.
They can also highlight that the media’s 95% negative reporting on President Trump is grossly unfair, especially since he has created unprecedented economic prosperity, record low unemployment, etc.
Again, at the current moment, President Trump is the only Republican aggressively calling out the media for its bias. Imagine how much more effective it could be if he were joined in this effort by Vice President Pence, 53 Republican senators, 200 Republican members of congress, and the entire staff of the RNC!
How can the Republican Base help?
1. They can help make the monikers FAKE NEWS and SERVANTS OF THE DEMOCRATS stick to the biased mainstream media. They can begin using these terms when discussing the media with friends, or on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
2. They can create a massive campaign of calls and emails to Mainstream Media organizations demanding that they hire enough Republicans and Conservatives to balance their reporting and reduce bias. The party affiliations of the networks’ political reporting teams should mirror those of the general public that they are supposedly serving.
3. They can boycott the entertainment side of TV networks such as NBC, ABC, and CBS until they fix the biased propaganda in their news and political reporting.
Note: I intentionally left FOX News out of this discussion of biased media. Though often accused of leaning to the right, they make an effort to be balanced, and feature prominent Democrats such as Chris Wallace, Shepard Smith, Juan Williams, and Donna Bazile.
Conclusion: The fight against media bias will be long and difficult. It is critical that the Republican party and base have the fortitude to stay in the fight for as long as it takes to achieve a victorious conclusion!