Why Republican Candidates Are Wrong About the Media
It isn’t a mystery why Republicans enact this performance of faux outrage, particularly during the primaries, since the voters they’re after are fed on a steady diet of complaints about the mainstream media. For a couple of decades now, those complaints have been a hallmark of conservative media, a core ingredient in the ideological stew they serve their audiences. Over and over, people who watch Fox News or listen to conservative talk radio are told that they can’t trust any mainstream, purportedly objective news organization. Anything they hear from The New York Times or NBC News or NPR is not just infected with liberal bias, it’s crafted that way intentionally by the people who produce it, engineered to harm Republicans, boost Democrats, and foist upon them a poisonous liberal worldview opposed to everything they hold dear.
What many on the right also have trouble accepting is that while the news is full of biases, ideological bias is among the least important. Let’s look, for instance, at the article about Rubio’s traffic tickets. Did the Times publish it because Marco Rubio’s a conservative, and they want to destroy him? No. They looked into the story in the first place because of a bias that says that what’s most important to know about a candidate is what’s personal and out of the public eye. They were surely hoping for something dramatic or shocking in the records, because that’s another bias, reasonable or not: “Politician Obeys Law, Is Good Citizen” doesn’t exactly make copies fly off the newsstand.