The Great Disruptor

In an earlier era, cable TV emerged from its infancy, the ‘big three’ combo of ABC, NBC and CBS utterly dominated broadcast news, and America’s liberal establishment, spearheaded by the New York Times, monopolized the mass dissemination of news and information. That was the nineteen eighties. And in those days, establishment media routinely brought cowering Republicans to heel. Yet, there was one politician who stood out. His name was Ronald Reagan.

By the strength of his communicative skills and political instincts, President Reagan beat the liberal media at their own game, playing with their own stacked deck. He used TV and radio to speak directly and effectively to the American people, and he proved the liberal media could be overcome. Thus, Ronald Reagan is today remembered fondly as The Great Communicator.

In future days, Donald Trump may well be remembered as The Great Disruptor. He lacks Reagan’s affability and rhetorical finesse, but then … so what?

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A Brief History of a Rigged System

Call them the ‘Bovine Media.’ They graze, walk and sometimes stampede as a herd. They seek safety in numbers and, when combined, have considerable weight to throw around. As with any herd, stragglers occasionally wander from the beaten path. Most return. But not all. Brit Hume never did. He became frustrated by the Washington press corps’ soft-shoe treatment of President Bill Clinton; a press corps that had just spent twelve years kicking two Republican presidents in the teeth. When Fox News offered Hume a way out, he took it – wise move – and didn’t look back.

I recall, from memory, a bit of political coverage by Sam Donaldson, one of the bovine bulls of yesteryear. It aired on ABC during President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign. The President took an old-fashioned ‘whistle-stop’ tour around the country, to give speeches and meet ‘average folks’ along the way. As I recall, Donaldson’s coverage focused on everyday citizens being inconvenienced by Mr. Reagan’s train moving through their towns and villages; as well as how difficult it was for some to get a glimpse of the President due to tight security surrounding him (the same President who had been shot and nearly killed three years earlier). The network’s story had little, if anything, to do with the message, most likely heartfelt, that Mr. Reagan shared with those whom he met and spoke to along the way.

When President Clinton ran for re-election in 1996, he also went on a ‘whistle-stop’ tour. His journey also got coverage from the Bovine Media. I don’t recall which of the three major broadcast networks I was watching that summer evening (of little consequence, really, since, like cattle, they’re comprised of similar parts), but the network’s coverage was sympathetic toward Mr. Clinton, focusing on his desire to connect with average Americans. At one point, Mr. Clinton stood gazing from his rail car, and commented introspectively on how that train tour reminded him of why he ran for president in the first place. This purported piece of journalism ran more like a campaign commercial, on behalf of the President, who came across in the network’s intimate portrait as a swell guy, deserving of admiration and support.

This historical illustration of media favoritism, seemingly tame by today’s standards, reflects a larger landscape upon which America’s political discourse occurs. For decades, and counting, a liberally dominated media class has favored Democrats over Republicans, and, along the way, promoted a leftist ideology. This year is certainly no different. CNN’s Jake Tapper, NBC’s Chuck Todd, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, among a herd of others, are each more politician than journalist, and both interchangeable and predictable in their bovine mentality, as they provide an ongoing, institutionalized disservice to American voters.

Is the system rigged? … What do you think?

The Donald Meets The Megyn

 

Let’s face it, Donald Trump’s recent comment about Fox News anchor Megan Kelly, and where blood may or may not exit her body, was sexist, suggestive and inappropriate. His clear implication was that feminine biology was at work in prompting her aggressive interaction with him at the Republican presidential debate last Thursday.

However …

Let’s face it, Megan Kelly’s debate question to Donald Trump was snarky, snobbish and inappropriate. She was obviously tweaking him, putting him on the spot, hoping to get a rise out of the GOP front-runner. It worked. But her full-on assault, presented as a debate question, is what Republicans expect from NBC, ABC or CBS, not from Fox News.

One imagines that many in the Republican voter base are as disappointed with Ms. Kelly and Fox News as they are with Mr. Trump’s string of unfortunate comments. Someone should poll that and find out for sure.

Media Bias? … Really?

As if we need reminding, there is an item on the Internet this week noting what this column anticipated some time ago. In this sixth year of Barack Obama’s scandalous and disaster-ridden presidency, as Republicans stand poised to make considerable gains in November’s off-year elections, one would think there are the makings of a pretty big story. The major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC), however, have shown somewhere between little and no interest in covering said story, as revealed here by the Media Research Center.

Also revealed is the fact that those same broadcast networks gave ample coverage to the elections pending in 2006, which happened to be the sixth year of George W. Bush’s presidency, when it was the Democrats who stood to gain ground. This readily observable double standard is not the province of unbiased news media. It is not negligible, nor is it excusable. It is merely par for the course.