Memo To Reince: Enough Is Enough. Boycott NBC and ABC.

 

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:

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.

Members have made 29 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Nick Stuart Inactive

    Absolutely correct.

    A key indicator of seriousness on the part of the RNC will be taking control of the primary debates, keeping them from being the same travelling clown show we saw in 2012 and in selection of moderators. Why not have persons known to be center-right to right-wing types like Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Kevin Williamson moderate the debates? Freeze out the MSM completely. Any candidate who’s such an attention-whore they succumb to a debate sponsored by the MSM should be frozen out of funding, penalized delegates, whatever sanctions the RNC can impose.

    A key indicator of seriousness on the part of the eventual Republican nominee will likewise be the extent to which they insist on shaping how the presidential debates are conducted. No “Townhall” in a deep blue area where the moderator selects the questions. What I’d like to see is the candidate say “Three debates, moderated by a professional parliamentarian: 1. My approach to foreign policy; 2. My approach to domestic policy; 3. I am the best choice for president because. Each candidate gets 10 minutes to address the question, 5 minutes to rebut, 2 minutes to rebut the rebuttal.” Get the biases of the “moderator” out of it entirely. No more Gwen Ifels, Candy Crowleys, Bob Sheiffers, George Stephanopoluses.

    The Republican party leadership, as evidenced by leaving town for 10 days vacation instead of having a response to Obama’s amnesty decree, does not realize they are being watched very carefully, and that they are on a timer. 2014 was the voters giving them one more chance. If they FUBAR 2014-2016, they may well not get another.

    • #1
    • November 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm
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  2. Profile photo of RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Thank you. This will get re-blogged on Rushbabe49.com, and the link sent to most of my email list, too.

    • #2
    • November 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm
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  3. Profile photo of John Hendrix Inactive

    totally agree.

    • #3
    • November 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm
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  4. Profile photo of Commodore BTC Member

    Meet The Press’ idea of balance this morning was to interview two strong supporters of amnesty, (the utterly disappointing) Jeff Flake and Robert Menendez.

    They had a dozen talking heads on and none of them represented the view opposed to legalization.

    If conservatives are going to do interviews with the major network MSM types they need to

    1) Do only live interviews. Or, if it is a pretaped interview, insist on release of full transcripts. Even better, have an aide present recording the interview, with a little camera focused on the interviewer. It will make them very uncomfortable.

    2) Treat the interviewer as hostile. Question all their premises, go after them Newt style. The journalist is going to do their own research on you, do the same to them, hit them with things they’ve said in the past. Cruz this morning reminded Chris Wallace that Wallace said the shutdown would hurt Republicans in 2014, and it didn’t.

    3) Interviewers love to interrupt conservatives the moment they get the sense they are making an effective argument. It’s a way to neutralize the conservative without the interviewer revealing their own bias. It’s why the left hated Jim Lehrer and loved Martha Raddatz, because she kept interrupting Paul Ryan, while Lehrer let them talk. The interviewer will use the constraints of time as an excuse. I’m not sure how to combat this, other than to call them on it in the moment.

    4) Stephen has written about this before, but conservatives need to get on Reddit and answer questions there. It’s a hostile audience, but much like Breitbart going on Bill Maher, it’s a chance to penetrate the liberal echo chamber. It’s a way to bypass the MSM and answer questions uninterrupted.

    • #4
    • November 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm
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  5. Profile photo of Petty B Member

    Brian Lamb of C-SPAN and Chris Wallace of Fox are the only two mainstream media personalities I would trust to even attempt to be fair.

    • #5
    • November 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm
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  6. Profile photo of Shelley Nolan Inactive

    I second the absolute correctness of this boycott. Can we stop being pushovers now.

    • #6
    • November 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm
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  7. Profile photo of Leigh Member

    Reince Preibus can’t really institute an absolute boycott. (If Lindsey Graham wants to go on “Meet the Press” he will, and probably talk happily about how nuts the boycotters are.) That one’s a trickier call.

    But no more mainstream media debate moderators, and it doesn’t require obvious bias to disqualify. In a primary debate we’re trying to pick the best Republican candidate, and the moderators should be Republicans. I’m fine with the Democrats not wanting Fox, either.

    • #7
    • November 23, 2014 at 6:16 pm
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  8. Profile photo of Freesmith Member

    Stephen,

    You can’t be serious.

    Sincerely,

    John McCain and Lindsey Graham

    • #8
    • November 23, 2014 at 6:27 pm
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  9. Profile photo of Douglas Inactive

    Never happen. The leadership of the Republican Party is obsessed with proving that they’re a “reasonable” party. They’ll fall for this stuff every day. They’re suckers and chumps. Which is one reason I’m not a Republican anymore.

    • #9
    • November 23, 2014 at 7:07 pm
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  10. Profile photo of Commodore BTC Member

    Remember when MSNBC(!) hosted a GOP debate in 2012 at the Reagan Library!

    Brian Williams asked Rick Perry if he was proud of all the executions in Texas.

    • #10
    • November 23, 2014 at 7:22 pm
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  11. Profile photo of Hank Rearden Inactive

    Well said.

    The MSM has gotten down perfectly the all-purpose question…

    “Mr. President, the unemployment rate hit 13% this morning. How do you think Republicans will try to use this against you?”

    The author himself did a little pre-emptive kow-towing by saying “nobody is suggesting” that Sean Hannity or Mark Levin moderate a debate. Why not? Both are eminently well-qualified, and are far more knowledgeable than, say, Candy Crowley is. The only better candidate would be Rush.

    And if none of those three, why have a questioner at all? Maybe someone to run the clock. I would pick one of the maintenance people at whaterver facility is used to do that. These people are running for president. They can’t carry their own narrative? It’s embarrassing, either in the primaries or in the election, to have them standing on stage like schoolboys and aswering gotcha questions from some puffed up newsreaders schooled only in Lefty conventional wisdom.

    • #11
    • November 24, 2014 at 12:17 am
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  12. Profile photo of Joseph Kulisics Inactive

    I’m not sucking up to the Ricochet regular contributors, but I think that the RNC should be seeking moderators like the contributors to the site. For example, author and journalist Jonah Goldberg could be a great moderator who poses good, useful questions. In addition, simply having conservative moderators shouldn’t mean that any candidate will get consistently favorable treatment. There are many different conservative perspectives and valuable arguments to be had, and because there’s a great diversity of conservative opinion represented on the site, people who jokingly identify themselves as RINOs as well people who identify themselves as libertarians, the site could serve at least as a starting point for an investigation into a challenging mix of possible moderators.

    • #12
    • November 24, 2014 at 1:47 am
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  13. Profile photo of Mike H Thatcher

    Sounds like it’s worth a shot. The question is how do we get more neutral moderators in the presidential debates.

    • #13
    • November 24, 2014 at 4:37 am
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  14. Profile photo of Quixotic Inactive

    At a minimum, ban NBC and any entity related to NBC (which includes Univision) unconditionally. There should be no fake distinction between MSNBC and the so-called serious journalists elsewhere in the news division. They’re all partisan hacks, Democratic operatives.

    I think it would be a mistake to place conditions on ABC or CBS for continued involvement, allowing them to exhibit faux objectivity on one or two issues, while remaining essentially unchanged. Just let the Sword of Damocles represented by the NBC cut-off hang for a while, then when the RNC likely cuts off ABC and CBS, give the reasons after the fact.

    You’re right, we don’t need these jerks.

    • #14
    • November 24, 2014 at 4:49 am
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  15. Profile photo of Quixotic Inactive

    When I wrote my comment above, I thought that Univision was owned by NBC, but I was wrong.

    • #15
    • November 24, 2014 at 4:58 am
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  16. Profile photo of genferei Member

    Weak sauce. Don’t just ‘boycott’ – attack!

    Apart from cutting off GOP funds to politicians who break the boycott (or, rather, permanent freeze out), the GOP should be encouraging alternatives to MSM: granting exclusives to up-and-coming blogs and youtube outlets; calling on these alternative media at press conferences (if they really must hold them); channelling ad-dollars in the right directions.

    Extend the freeze-out to all ad dollars from governments controlled by the GOP.

    And congress should launch an open-ended investigation into close ties between government and media. This can be completely non-partisan in construction, since the effect will be to highlight the links between Democrats, the media and senior officials (in so far as there is any distinction).

    All this, by the way, should be aimed not just at the alphabet networks (all three – hell, throw in Fox if necessary) but also the newspaper industry.

    • #16
    • November 24, 2014 at 5:18 am
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  17. Profile photo of Nick Stuart Inactive

    Mike H:Sounds like it’s worth a shot. The question is how do we get more neutral moderators in the presidential debates.

    If I understand correctly, it’s the candidates who agree to the terms of the debates, including moderators (correct me if I’m wrong).

    One way would be each campaign gives the other a list of 25 moderators who would be acceptable to their campaign. The opposite campaign picks 3. That gives a pool of 6 acceptable to both campaigns. Pick 3 at random.

    Just say no to Bob Sheisser and Creepy Crowley [sophomoric, I know. Just can’t help myself]

    • #17
    • November 24, 2014 at 5:23 am
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  18. Profile photo of Rightfromthestart Thatcher

    Having People like Stephanopolous moderate any debate is like having a playoff series between the Red Sox and Yankees and all the umpires are retired Yankees. I don’t doubt that the retired players would do an honest job but the very appearance would be ridiculous and any Yankee victory would be tainted. Having him involved in a Republican debate is even more ludicrous. We’ve all seen this and screamed about it since at least the ’80’s. What is the matter with the RNC ? It reminds me of the old time phony wresting of the ’50’s when the ref was always looking the other way when the ‘bad guy’ was doing something illegal . After a while you realize it’s all an act.

    • #18
    • November 24, 2014 at 5:31 am
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  19. Profile photo of Brian Clendinen Member

    The problem is the Republican leadership are media whores. When they were young the media abused them and daddy media did not pay attention to them like they did all there friends from the other side. So when they got older and more powerful they started to whore them self’s out for the limelight and take abuse because they need the attention and occasional adoration. You just can’t stop narcissistic from being themselves unless you hurt them were it matters.

    Screwing the cause and party over the long run don’t matter to them. So they will continue to be in an abusive relationship because the media gives them just a taste of what the politicians crave.

    • #19
    • November 24, 2014 at 6:31 am
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  20. Profile photo of Songwriter Member

    The mainstream media is the enemy and should be treated as such. They hide behind the guise of being moderate and fair – but they are neither. Brian Williams is the worst, since he is the best at pretending to be what he is not. At least the folks at MSNBC are open about their views.

    Every Republican politician should be required to attend a 2-week media training course, with classes in debate responses led by Newt Gingrich.

    When the media fires, Republicans should fire back.

    • #20
    • November 24, 2014 at 6:42 am
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  21. Profile photo of Commodore BTC Member

    Brian Clendinen:The problem is the Republican leadership are media whores. When they were young the media abused them and daddy media did not pay attention to them like they did all there friends from the other side. So when they got older and more powerful they started to whore them self’s out for the limelight and take abuse because they need the attention and occasional adoration. You just can’t stop narcissistic from being themselves unless you hurt them were it matters.

    This.

    The real problem is GOP leadership prefers MSM to alternative media.

    Nothing epitomized this more than Boehner going on Jay Leno and trashing conservatives.

    • #21
    • November 24, 2014 at 6:43 am
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  22. Profile photo of Retail Lawyer Member

    I’m still gobsmacked by CNN’s Candy Crowley performance as moderator in the last Presidential debates. Raising papers in her hand and saying, “I have the transcripts here”. I will never forget it and have never watched CNN nor Ms. Crowley since that moment. How can she still have a job?

    • #22
    • November 24, 2014 at 7:02 am
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  23. Profile photo of Fricosis Guy Listener

    Retail Lawyer:I’m still gobsmacked by CNN’s Candy Crowley performance as moderator in the last Presidential debates. Raising papers in her hand and saying, “I have the transcripts here”. I will never forget it and have never watched CNN nor Ms. Crowley since that moment. How can she still have a job?

    I thought this was as much a product of Romney’s debate prep as anything else. If you’re going to bring up a topic or talking point — and Romney brought the President’s remarks up — you have to be able to drive it all the way home. You must assume that the moderator will be hostile. If he had not wilted vs. Crowley, I’ll bet he’d have come out much better.

    If I were a GOP candidate, I’d pick the toughest foe I could find. For example, just imagine having Ted Cruz as your stand-in for Obama or Hillary.

    • #23
    • November 24, 2014 at 9:23 am
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  24. Profile photo of Preserved Killick Member

    The perfect moderator for a Presidential Debate …

    Peter Robinson.

    Perfect.

    Halfway thru the debate, James Lileks must take a comment a candidate makes and spin it into an advertisement for shaving gear. This spin MUST use the word “emollients”.

    As a wrap, Rob Long would come on and urge us to “put some skin in the game” – although if Mrs. Clinton is the Dem, he probably could not use that particular tag line with anything approaching a straight face.

    Debate problem solved.

    • #24
    • November 24, 2014 at 9:52 am
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  25. Profile photo of Paul Erickson Member

    Preserved Killick:The perfect moderator for a Presidential Debate …

    Peter Robinson.

    Perfect.

    Halfway thru the debate, James Lileks must take a comment a candidate makes and spin it into an advertisement for shaving gear. This spin MUST use the word “emollients”.

    As a wrap, Rob Long would come on and urge us to “put some skin in the game” – although if Mrs. Clinton is the Dem, he probably could not use that particular tag line with anything approaching a straight face.

    Debate problem solved.

    It might work, but with Peter, how could the candidates ever be sure it was the last question?

    • #25
    • November 24, 2014 at 11:11 am
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  26. Profile photo of Frozen Chosen Thatcher

    Since there are millions of voters in this country who only get their news from NBC, CBS and ABC, are you proposing we abandon them to the Dems and their media allies by boycotting any Republican appearances/debates? How would we ever win the votes of these people if we can never present our case? Do you think we can win a national election without these voters?

    Look, I hate the MSM as much as anyone else but the reality is that a huge chunk of the electorate get their news exclusively from those sources. I don’t think withdrawing from the field and letting the other side run amok is wise.

    • #26
    • November 24, 2014 at 11:56 am
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  27. Profile photo of Tutti Member

    Well said!

    It seems that Republicans have been accepting all the abuse and character assassinations of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, et. al. in an attempt to state their cases only to be ‘bushwhacked’ at every turn. It’s time to stop being the Democrats piñata. There going to ridicule us anyway so let’s not give them any more ammunition by appearing before blatantly partisan interviewers and debate moderators whose primary purpose is to find (or create) a ‘gotcha’ moment.

    • #27
    • November 25, 2014 at 7:13 am
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  28. Profile photo of TeamAmerica Member

    @Hank Rearden- “The author himself did a little pre-emptive kow-towing by saying “nobody is suggesting” that Sean Hannity or Mark Levin moderate a debate. Why not? Both are eminently well-qualified, and are far more knowledgeable than, say, Candy Crowley is. The only better candidate would be Rush.”

    Really? I think his style is too nakedly partisan, if less so than Marl Levin. I’d suggest Dennis Prager, with Hugh Hewitt and Michael Medved as alternatives.

    • #28
    • November 25, 2014 at 8:27 pm
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  29. Profile photo of genferei Member

    Frozen Chosen: Look, I hate the MSM as much as anyone else but the reality is that a huge chunk of the electorate get their news exclusively from those sources. I don’t think withdrawing from the field and letting the other side run amok is wise.

    Viewership of the nightly news broadcasts is about 8-10 million per network (week of November 17). The circulation of the NYT is about 1.8 million (over half digital). (About 130 million people voted in 2012.) A goodly chunk, but perhaps not ‘huge’.

    As for ‘letting the other side run amok’ – what could they do that they do not already do today?

    • #29
    • November 26, 2014 at 4:22 am
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