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During a 2012 Republican primary debate, George Stephanopoulos asked Mitt Romney an obviously slanted if not altogether planted question about banning birth control. This mystified Romney since he had never even considered the issue as part of his platform. No major Republican had. But Stephanopoulos raised the issue and because of it, the GOP was forced to fight a two-year-long, imaginary “war on women.”
This talking point was later used by David Gregory on “Meet the Press” against Todd Akin whom handled it less articulately than Romney. But the fault in that did not lie with Stephanopoulos; it rested solely at the feet of the RNC for approving a former Clinton White House operative and still loyal Clinton acolyte to moderate a GOP debate.
Whomever was in charge and agreed to that decision should be exiled to somewhere very far and very cold where only Sarah Palin can see them from her house.
The GOP cannot control who NBC, ABC and CBS put into executive news editorial positions or the stories they choose to report, or not report. However, they can choose if they participate any longer with conglomerates whose clear goal is to protect an unpopular President and elevate a future Presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton. It is time to stop complaining about media bias and do something about it. Something bold.
ABC and NBC have instituted a three-week blackout — on network broadcasts, websites and social media pages — of the devastating admissions of MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. The ACA architect repeatedly boasted of deceiving the American public about legislation that cost six million people their family doctor. This should be the final straw in any relationship the GOP and RNC leadership has with these networks, period. No more debates, no more appearances on “Meet The Press,” “Morning Joe,” or “This Week” on ABC.
Boycott both NBC and ABC over failing to report on Gruber’s revelations and put CBS on final notice over the revelations that they coordinated with the Obama administration to tank Sharyl Attkisson’s Benghazi reporting. Network news is a dying religion becoming more ideologically rigid, forgoing any attempt to stay relevant in a media landscape that no longer needs them. Leave them behind. We’ve already shown that it works. Marginalize them and label them progressive news outlets and make them live by it. MSNBC came out of the progressive closet fully earlier this year and their ratings and web traffic got worse. Air America is no more and Current TV is now an unloved stepchild Al Gore gave away for oil money.
Reince Priebus threatened to boycott NBC and CNN over Hillary movies and documentaries aimed at paving the way toward her eventual coronation in 2016. It was a bold and refreshing action that loudly stated enough was enough. Both networks pulled their Hillary projects.
On the web, name reporters from both networks have chosen a blackout or ridicule approach. NBC News’ crack team of political reporters led by Mark Murray and Chuck Todd have covered their eyes and ears. ABC political director Rick Klein can’t be bothered either. However, John Harwood took a more direct approach:
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) November 18, 2014
Six million healthcare plans lost on an admitted and oft-repeated lie, and this isn’t news to them. Enough is enough.
They have chosen, like most scandals involving the Obama Administration, to report on the Republican reaction and “overreach” instead of on the story of itself. Gruber, to whom the administration deferred on dozens of occasions to speak for them, admitted the only way ACA could be passed was to lie to stupid American voters. American voters have figured out the lie, as demonstrated by the results of the 2014 midterm elections. But the only group left defending the Obamacare catastrophe is the media by now ignoring Gruber.
This isn’t bias. This is malfeasance and corruption.
The media went all-in for Obama to be President, so their credibility is directly tied to his. NBC and ABC ignore the Gruber story not because it makes Barack Obama look bad but because they were his dutiful messengers.
NBC hides behind a peacock-shaped shield, trying to convince everyone they’re still the network of “Friends” and “Cheers.” “NBC Sunday Night Football” falls behind “The Walking Dead” and it’s not because of Peyton Manning’s seemingly week-to-week record-breaking performances. The condescension emanating from Bob Costas’ sermons on racism and gun control is chasing away viewers.
What’s becoming evident, especially with a younger and deeper Republican bench going into 2016, is that network news will depend on the RNC much much more than the RNC will need them. It’s time for them to start acting like it. Priebus, et al., hold all the cards here.
Network media no longer drives the news cycle. “Meet the Press'” ratings are back to dead last after putting in a new quarterback. More people have their heads buried in their fantasy football teams on Sunday mornings than are listening to Stephanopoulos or Donna Brazile. They have become a relic using Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert as iron lungs to stay alive.
The party leadership needs to make inroads on college campuses. This audience doesn’t take a study break to watch Brian Williams or Matt Lauer. Viral media has taken over and every effort on network news relevance has failed.
YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Facebook and Twitter are all far more viable options for primary debates and even a presidential debate, with wider and younger audiences. No one is asking for Sean Hannity or Mark Levin to host primary or presidential debates, but networks have clearly demonstrated they are not interested in balance. (Candy Crowley, anyone?) The conservative argument in media is to have a level playing field. Network media knows they can’t do that because on a level playing field of ideas, conservatives win.
If NBC wishes to roll out the red carpet for Jon Stewart, they are welcome to it. If Jimmy Fallon’s band wants to play “Crazy Eyed (expletive)” when a Republican woman walks out, they are welcome to it. But it’s time to grab the stick they’ve been beating candidates and party members over the head with and use it against them.
This is not the same network media that broke the Kennedy assassination or the moon landing. It isn’t. Let NBC and ABC cater to Grandma Hillary and the gaggle of Democrat senior citizens vying for the nomination. No one wants to hear Chuck Todd have to repeat questions because none of the candidates can hear him.
But it’s time RNC leadership realizes that if network news outlets only want to shield their omnipotent President and crack Sarah Palin jokes five years after the fact, they can do it without our help.
Enough is enough.