Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Delusional and Whacky World of Wing Nut Media

The Republican media world is simply bizarre.  From 2008 when the right wing media expected and predicted a McCain victory and through election day 2012, the entire wing nut media was ablaze with high fives in anticipation of a Romney victory.

WSJ's Republican pundit Peggy Noonan wrote "All the vibrations are right....Romney's slipping into the presidency...".  Whether it was Karl Rove begging Fox News not to call the election for Obama or crazy Dick Morris predicting a Romney landslide victory, the right wing media was cocky, confident and convinced that Obama would be decisively defeated.

The Republicans were right about one thing - the election results were indeed decisive and Obama smacked Romney with 332 electoral votes to 206 for Romney.  The Republicans lost the 3 critical swing states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia with cumulative electoral votes of 60, and still nowhere near enough to overcome the 126 electoral vote difference.  To win, Romney needed to flip some purple-blue states to the red column.  That never happened.  Why?

I don't think that voters necessarily despise the Republican Party so much as they intensely despise Republican voters.  After all, voters who vote Republican will get big government, big spending and endless entitlements in the welfare-warfare state.  Republicans really don't govern any differently than Democrats and the Republicans have done absolutely nothing over the decades to rein in spending, deficits and the debt.

What is it about Republicans voters that totally creeps folks out?  It's the religious right and social conservatives who have fallen from ballot box grace.  From candidates like Akin of the 'legitimate rape' fame to Mourdock who echoed Akin on rape by suggesting that rape doesn't exist to a 'human being is created at the precise moment of conception' folks demanding constitutional protections for a freshly fertilized zygote, to demands that all abortion under any circumstances be outlawed, to hatred for homosexuals, the Republicans are generally viewed as theocratic Nazis on issues of social tolerance, gay marriage and abortion rights.  Toss in the Republican worship of endless wars and the mix becomes even more toxic.

Nowhere were the sentiments of the Republican base more clearly evident than in the 2012 SC primary debate.  Oddly, most in the angry Republican mob audience had just left the prayer vigil tent that was set up adjacent to the debate site.  Prayer and reflection didn't stop the rabid Republicans from booing Ron Paul when he suggested that America invoke the Golden Rule on foreign policy.  The Republican prayer infused audience cheered loudly when somebody suggested that uninsured folks should just die and Newt Gingrich got a standing ovation for shouting 'kill em'. Gingrich went on to win the SC primary as he shamelessly pandered to disgraceful, hideous and repugnant Evangelical crowds.

The wing nut media will never criticize these folks for being the arrogant and insufferable jackasses that they really are.  In fact, the wing nut media actually cheers them on to greater heights of absurdity and lunacy.  Furthermore, wing nut media is never about solving big problems but always and exclusively about beating up on the Dems, Obama and gang.  It matters little to the wing nut media that the Republicans pretty much mirror the Dems in policy, growing government and big spending, all of which is only evil when the Democrats do it but never evil when the Republicans do the exact same thing.  Go figure.

The Huffingpost recently chirped in on the state of wing nut media, not that its vigorous defense of all things Democrat and Obama in anyway elevates the Puff Post to the moral high ground.  That said, the Puff Post did make some decent points.

Conservative Media Struggles For Credibility, Amid Coverage Of Hookers, Hamas And Hagel
The National Review, a leading voice in the conservative movement since 1955, isn't cutting back on opinion writing or strong editorial stands. But Costa and his team of three reporters are gaining recognition inside Republican circles and among the Washington media establishment for actually making calls, staking out the Capitol and breaking news. Costa recently reported the inside story of the attempted House GOP "coup" against Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and scooped that former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will speak at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference.

It's the type of shoe-leather reporting that many political observers and even some prominent conservatives claim is sorely lacking on the right. Their critiques seemed confirmed this past month as several conservative media-driven stories fell flat, from speculation that Chuck Hagel wouldn’t be confirmed as defense secretary to reports that he’d spoken to a shadowy (and fictitious) group called "Friends of Hamas." On Friday, a prominent conservative writer and commentator was found to have been heavily involved in a paid propaganda operation funded by the Malaysian government. And over the past 24 hours, both The Washington Post and ABC News have called into question an explosive Daily Caller story alleging that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) slept with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.

And so, while outlets like The Daily Caller, Breitbart News and the Washington Free Beacon have sprouted and, in some cases, prospered during President Barack Obama's administration, concern is mounting that they and others in the conservative media universe are shedding their credibility by focusing more on supposed scandals than reporting the basics of who, what, when, where, why and how.....

RedState editor Erick Erickson argued last week that conservative outlets have been "failing to advance ideas and stories" beyond their ideological borders. "The echo in the chamber has gotten so loud it is not well understood outside the echo chamber in the mainstream press and in the public," Erickson wrote. "It translates only as anger and noise, neither of which are conducive to the art of persuasion."....

Conservative media made noise during the 2012 election but had little impact on the news cycle. Both The Daily Caller and Breitbart News hyped old videos of Obama, which despite being amplified on The Drudge Report and Fox News, received more mockery from the national press than follow-up. In response to Romney’s infamous "47 percent video" –- a clearly newsworthy recording –- Fox News attempted to equate his remarks with a 14-year-old Obama quote about wealth "redistribution."
Personally, I find Red State and Erick Erickson vile beyond comprehension because Erickson and his site engage in a ton of pandering that incites anger and rage.  However, Erickson does make a valid point. Moreover, the anger that fires up the Republican base definitely isn't the kind of anger that fires up voters in national elections. All those angry Republicans really aren't angry over what Obama actually does but just the fact that the Republicans can't claim the credit for doing the precise same thing.

Republicans may be long on anger and short on solutions but they've definitely succeeded in alienating the youth vote, the female vote and the Independent vote, 3 big voting constituencies that determine general election outcomes. The socially tolerant young have no use for theocratic Nazis who bash homosexuality. The female voters are terrified that a Republican in a Nazi uniform will show up and put a gun to their head to prevent them from taking the morning after pill or having an abortion. Even worse, the rants of some Republicans who suggest that violent rape really isn't a crime at all but consensual sex has left Republicans looking like gang of whackjobs. The Independents, by far the smartest and most informed group of voters, have no use for Republicans or its gang of social conservatives.

Meanwhile, the wing nut media dances on as if all is well but opine that things would be be a whole lot better if the Republicans could just find the right candidate. But alas, any decent candidate with wide appeal across party and independent lines will never get passed the Republican base. Those who ask the questions that need to be asked, address the issues that need to be addressed and speak a truth that needs to be spoken are shunned like the plague.

1 comment:

  1. You have put into words what I have been feeling about this media vacuum for years. That there are a very few outlets that actually focus on real news and issues for actual Republican issues.


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