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HOW THE PRESS CONTROLS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 26, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– “The judge, jury and executioner of American politics.”

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I want to touch on a sensitive political issue, namely the role of the press in our electoral process, particularly as it relates to Republicans. This is so sensitive, I experienced difficultly trying to publish an earlier version of this article. It is the dirty little secret which everyone knows, but is unwilling to address, namely the formidable power of the press to alter the course of campaigns. The media knows the Democrats have a weak lineup headed by Hillary Clinton, but they are still loyal to the Clintons and the party, and will go to any lengths to twist public opinion against the Republicans.

Donald Trump appears to be the only candidate who knows how to competently joust with the press. For example, after the second debate, Trump was interviewed by NBC’s “Today Show” hostess Savannah Guthrie who asked his opinion of a new CNN poll showing his ratings are starting to decline. Instead of taking the bait, Trump asked Guthrie why she wasn’t quoting their own NBC poll showing him way ahead. In other words, Trump refused to play the media’s game. He knows the press is needed for exposure, but he also understands their political agenda.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker dropped out of the race on September 21st, which is probably a good thing as I do not believe he possessed the intestinal fortitude for such a race, at least not yet. Don’t get me wrong, I like Walker and watched his July 13th presidential announcement which I thought was rather inspiring. However, his bubble burst in just two short months. Of the 17 GOP candidates, he was the second to last to announce his candidacy, and the second to drop out.

In his exit announcement he took a swipe at Donald Trump, thereby implying Trump was largely to blame for his demise. It is true Walker got in the way of the Trump juggernaut, but so were the other candidates. There are two other reasons for his failure; himself for misjudging the complexities of a presidential run, and the most imposing element of all, the press, or as I refer to it as “the judge, jury and executioner of American politics.”

Even before his announcement to run, the press pegged Walker as one of the leaders in the GOP race to be reckoned with, and one of the most conservative. Even the Democrats were afraid of him due to his ability to survive two vicious gubernatorial elections in Wisconsin. Walker was considered anti-union, anti-LGBT, anti-immigration, anti-Planned Parenthood, and (gasp) not politically correct. Such a persona was deemed a genuine threat to the liberal agenda, so an order was likely given to the press to take him down. They did so by simply ignoring him. While they turned their attention to Trump, they shut down Walker simply by ignoring him. Without adequate media exposure, he began to decline in the polls, causing the super-PACs to renege their support for him, along with their money.

During the second GOP debate in California, CNN egged Walker to attack Trump, a tactic he should have been smart enough to avoid. He didn’t, and by taking their bait, Trump boxed his ears. CNN also didn’t give Walker much of a chance to explain his policies and positions, and was allowed only seven minutes of exposure in a three hour debate. This was followed by the media’s talking heads dismissing Walker’s performance which resulted in plummeting poll numbers, and his exit.

In other words, Trump wasn’t really responsible for Walker’s departure, the press was, and the rest of the Republican field should take notice. The liberal media is not interested in having a GOP president and will go to any lengths to prevent a Republican from winning the White House, such as distorting the truth, controlling the ink (media exposure), and manipulating public opinion. Finding fair and balanced reporting is difficult. To illustrate, I make active use of Google’s news alerts whereby I receive news reports based on keywords, such as Republican, GOP, Florida, etc. As a story is produced, I am sent an e-mail notifying me of it. This can become rather voluminous. However, I have noticed of all Republican related news stories, maybe one in twenty or twenty-five are fair and balanced, the rest are fallacious and filled with distortions and lies. So much for the journalistic integrity of the main street media.

If I do not hear the words directly from the lips of the candidates myself, I certainly do not rely on the media to accurately report them. For example, consider Trump’s McCain flap a couple of months ago, or more recently, Ben Carson’s Muslim comments. Both were taken out of context and spun to a gullible public who has been trained to accept short sound bites. Whereas the press doggedly stays focused on Republicans, the Democrats are given a pass, thereby revealing where the media’s loyalties reside.

So, what can be done? The candidates must take the press to task, particularly in the remaining debates. Unlike Walker, they should be smart enough to know when they are being baited. Second, they should not allow the press to distort the truth. Through their speeches and social media, the candidates should recognize what reporters and media institutions are not being honest. Boycotting the media outlet is another viable option. Third, do not give press passes or grant interviews to anyone who does not possess press credentials from The Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA). This pledge is a sort of hippocratic oath as applied to journalists. The CFAPA pledge means they will conform to ethical standards.

I am also in favor of making the media pay the candidates for their participation in the debates. After all, the press is being amply paid for the debates, not the candidates. Honorariums in the form of donations to charity should be mandated, particularly if the press wants to make a mockery of how debates should be performed. I would also suggest the rest of the candidates take a “media relations” lesson from Trump or hire Newt Gingrich to mentor them. If they do it right, they will not allow themselves to be intimidated and the public will respond favorably.

The one thing the press is very cognizant of is the public’s growing mistrust of the media. According to Gallup, “Americans’ Trust in the Media Remains at Historic Low.” The media can ill-afford to lose the support of John Q. Public, and this represents their Achilles’ heel. Should the public turn on the press, it would change politics in America as we know it.

Scott Walker’s departure was celebrated as a major victory by the press. The question is, which GOP candidate will allow him/herself to be the next victim to suffer their wrath? Better yet, when will the public say to the press, “Enough is enough!”

By winning the war with the media, Trump has a legitimate chance of winning the election. The media’s attempt to control him will backfire in their faces by earning the respect of the public. What the press doesn’t seem to grasp is they need Trump more than Trump needs them.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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18 Responses to “HOW THE PRESS CONTROLS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS”

  1. Caveat Emptor is what the public needs to invoke when dealing with the Mass Hysteria as I call them. You make some very salient points, especially “Trump knows how to joust with the media”. If he does nothing else in this election he has done that. But he and Newt have only scratched the surface. What anyone running for office needs to learn to do is question the question and then question the questioner. Never just blindly accept the premise of the question and try to answer. This would work for democrats as well although only few get bad treatment from the Mass Hysteria. The Mass Hysteria are basically a conniving manipulative bunch and few questions thrown back at them would shut them up toute suite. Just as it does to all conniving manipulative characters.

    Also I wouldn’t just accept their premise that Trump is actually leading anything. He may be. On the other hand he is good copy and easy to create stories about. No one has voted as yet. His lead is based on their polls which of course gave us President Hillary already or President Giuliani and don’t forget President Dewey.

    Like

    • Tim Bryce said

      I just wish we had a press to challenge Hillary. We do not.

      Like

      • Tim there is nothing stopping a Republican candidate from doing just that. They get the microphone in their hands. Ask the questions the media doesn’t ask and then ask why they don’t ask?

        Why do Republicans let liberal commentators run the debates? Why have debates on CNN and MSNBC? Why not demand a Lincoln Douglass style debate with no moderator at all? Like the old saying goes. “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.”

        Here’s what is not going to happen. The liberal media is all of a sudden going to be fair. If you don’t adapt and adjust, you go the way of the Dodo bird.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tim Bryce said

        Don – I very much agree with you. I liked the 2012 debates when Gingrich took the press to task, but nobody seems to have learned this lesson. – Tim

        Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    An article which enforces my point:
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/10/25/ben-carson-more-voters-thinking-i-must-be-a-good-guy-after-mainstream-media-attacks-badgering/

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    Example of the media trying to manipulate voter perspective. Faith Salie is not a journalist, but an actress from one of the Star Trek offshoots. Yet she is allowed to promote the liberal agenda? Where is my invitation to counter her argument?

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A U.V. of Largo, Florida wrote…

    “Excellent! My Mom told me years go, when I first got interested in reading the newspaper “Don’t believe everything you read there. Check it yourself first.” Still do today, even more so. Integrity in the press is gone, sadly.”

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    An M.B. of Wilmington, North Carolina wrote…

    “The problem is the almost religious belief of those that claim not to be religious when they recite propaganda from the media instead of facts that are easily determined. Today it takes off shore sources to get an honest look at things happening in the USA to get around media bias.”

    Like

  6. Tim Bryce said

    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/258057-trump-the-media-is-scum

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    A J.T. in Michigan wrote…

    “We’ve know the media was engineering the political scene for years. I witnessed it in (1963) the campaign against the John Birch Society. We had one of the commentators from a local radio/TV station visit a meeting and brought along with him the news that the AP would say to the station. All the news was controlled, filtered and the time was given as to when it was to be broadcast. So the media has controlled the minds of the public for sometime. Thank you for pointing this out and we can only hope it will bring someone around to understanding just where the country is headed. If your a moderate, you stand for nothing.”

    Like

  8. Tim Bryce said

    A G.W. of St. Louis, Missouri wrote…

    “Great article Tim – definitely on target!”

    Like

  9. Tim Bryce said

    A D.F. of Austin, Texas wrote…

    “The press needs two parties to have anything to write about. They are the executioner for the other parties. Given how bad the two major parties have been in recent decades they should have died and gone the way of the Whigs long ago. But no, the press will only cover them. No matter how bad the press ensures a two party lock in. I gave up on the two large parties long ago. I wrote out my principles, compared them against all of the ballot qualified parties, and joined the one that was the closest match. I’ve been a Libertarian ever since. I don’t agree with all of the party’s stances but that’s how politics works. They are the closest match to my principles so they mostly get my votes.”

    Like

  10. Wayne Brown said

    The key change in the “Press” or more accurately media down through history can be summed up in the one manipulation of journalism that changed it all. At some point after “Watergate”, the media changed its approach. Instead of reporting “what happen to who and where”, they began a focus of telling us what should happen and why. Of course, this is the same model employed by the news agencies of the USSR under communist rule–only what you are deemed to hear when you are deemed to hear it and all for the same justification. The naive of America still do not get this and they tune their televisions to the same dribble and continue to pay the high price of a subscription to the local liberal rag of a newspaper printed by some liberal conglomerate. Now talk radio is under attack because liberalism cannot survive on its own in the broadcast media. It must exist as a function of government regulation of conservative viewpoints. Once one understands all of this, it becomes very clear why the EPA, PBS, and Planned Parenthood are all about the same thing. Good stuff, Tim.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. […] HOW THE PRESS CONTROLS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS […]

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  12. […] HOW THE PRESS CONTROLS POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS […]

    Like

  13. Tim Bryce said

    RASMUSSEN: “Seventy-five percent (75%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe that when it comes to covering prospective presidential candidates, the media is more interested in creating controversies about them than it is in reporting where they stand on the issues.”

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/commentary_by_fran_coombs/gop_wins_cnbc_loses_last_night_s_debate

    Like

  14. Tim Bryce said

    http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/10/28/krauthammer-cnbc-debate-most-appalling-that-i-can-remember-flaming-liberals-moderating-debate-were-obnoxious/

    Like

  15. […] a Culture of Fear and Anger” “Mad as Hell” “Again, Into the Abyss” “How the Press Controls Political Campaigns” “The Real War on Women” “Special: GOP Stereotype Season” “At the […]

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