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Media Bias Against Conservatives is Real, Says...NBC 'Think?'
Media bias against conservatives isn't surprising to anyone not employed by CNN or MSNBC. The Internet is replete with examples over the past few months (see Frank Luntz Slaps Around CNN’s Brian Stetler Over Anti-Trump Bias and Ted Cruz HAMMERS Mark Zuckerberg for Facebook’s Anti-Conservative Bias). Let alone the past few decades. The rub is that lately, calling the press out for bias gets dismissed as Trump supporters cry "fake news!"
Which is why this piece by frequent Trump critic Evan Siegfried stands out. Varying opinions on the right about Donald Trump aside, we're all mostly in agreement how badly the media has sucked at their jobs - and at life in general - for decades before him.
Saying that he had “binders full of women” that he was looking at appointing to key positions were he elected president. Sure, it was an awkward way of stating a fairly innocuous fact about how elected executives begin their transition efforts — with resumes of candidates for every position under the sun —- well before an election is held. Yet, the media and commentators came for Mitt Romney and they did so with guns blazing, as he was portrayed as an anti-woman extremist... for making a concerted effort to hire women to serve in his administration as governor of Massachusetts.
Which blew up right in their faces.
Conservatives were rightly upset when at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, the USA Today editorial board parroted, almost verbatim, a claim of the then president’s that his administration had been scandal-free. While this was done by the editorial board of a major newspaper, the line was repeated by many journalists, including by NBC News’ Tom Brokaw, despite Republican investigations into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, the investigation into the ATF's Fast and Furious program and the investigation into the Obama Administration's federal guarantees for Solyndra, among others.
Side note: to the left, "binders full of women" was worse than anything Obama and Holder engaged in.
And one can draw a straight line from the fawning Clinton coverage in the 1990s to the deeply suspicious manner with which George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were portrayed in the aughts to the media hyperventilation about Romney's “binders full of women” all the way to Trump’s post-fact world. Each and every instance where the media engages in bias helped to chip away at the trust they once held; all conservatives ever did was point out the truth.
I'm not saying Trump doesn't take things way too far the other way with his "the media is the enemy of the people" nonsense. That's crazy talk that shouldn't be accepted from any world leader. It's even worse when you get the sense Trump doesn't mean it, or fully understand what he's saying. It's just a catchphrase he knows his MAGA-sexual fanbois will go crazy for and throw their panties at him.
However, there's a reason accusations of "fake news" catch on. And it's not devotion to Trump. It's because of the decades of biased news that came before Trump. The press said a lot of the same things about moderate John McCain and milquetoast Mitt Romney that say about Donald Trump. As if following a script. The difference is, Trump is the first Republican president to seemingly not care and strike back. Effectively.
We can argue if the way Trump's striking back is healthy. But not until the media takes a long hard look in the mirror, takes a look at their role in this dramedy. Instead of doubling down on the suck. Don't expect many of us to feel bad when the president makes fun of you.