Saturday, September 25, 2010

Where the MSM Does Go Wrong

I am a little disoriented right now. I have just watched several commentators offering conflicting views about what exactly is the national "image" of the Republican Party.

First, Rachel Maddow.

Ok, you got that? Republicans want to get rid of Social Security and Medicare so that Grandma will starve to death or be forced to eat "cat food." Maddow states that these proposals are at the heart of the Republican platform.

Contrast Maddow's thoughts with...

Alex Knepper notes that "the words 'Government takeover of healthcare' are actually juxtaposed with 'Cuts Medicare' on the screen.

So, in essence, Maddow thinks that Angle, O'Donnell, and Gingrich represent the Republican Party. Yet when the rubber actually meets the road and Republicans begin an actual campaign, the exact opposite occurrs. National Republicans shy away from the more extreme part of the Tea Party. The National Republican Senatorial Committee, who ran this ad, must have not heard Maddow's commentary.

The same can be seen with the Republican Pledge to America. David Frum nailed it.

I had a good chuckle at Erick Erickson’s enraged piece on the Republican pledge, now being circulated by Democratic spinmeisters.

Question for Erickson: What did he expect?

Here is the GOP cruising to a handsome election victory. Did you seriously imagine that they would jeopardize the prospect of victory and chairmanships by issuing big, bold promises to do deadly unpopular things?

So how does the MSM misrepresent the conservative movement? I noticed this the other day when I was watching Hardball with Chris Matthews. I found myself agreeing with (almost) everything that Matthews was saying. What I objected to was the implicit attempt to create a national image of the Republican Party. By putting O'Donnell and Angle clips on his show everyday, Matthews is trying to portray the Republican Party as the party of far-right weirdos.

The problem with this strategy, as Nate Silver has shown, is that it will only reinforce responsible Republicans. The MSM's crusade against the crazies in the Republican Party is an unintended endorsement of the non-crazies. What happens when Romney or Daniels or Thune are nominated to run for president? Well, Matthews will be forced to combat them on policy grounds and lay off the talk about witchcraft and racism. The more crazy the Tea Party movement gets, the better more moderate Republicans will look.

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