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The Flip Side of “Conservative Media Created Trump.”

By  |  August 26, 2016, 01:38pm  |  @ewerickson


I see more and more stories from the left and from Republicans that want to lay the blame for Trump at the feet of conservative media. It’s Sean Hannity’s fault or Laura Ingraham’s or Rush Limbaugh’s or mine or Glenn Beck’s or Fox’s. Everyone wants to pin the blame on someone else. As I keep writing, I don’t know that I’d trust someone in politics or covering politics who thinks they did not have a role to play in this phenomenon, and that includes Democrats.

If we have to ask whether conservative media created Trump, we should not stop there. We should ask who created conservative media. The answer is actually the mainstream media.

Conservative media exists in a world where the mainstream media decided it could feign objectivity, but skew left. My favorite example is the abortion debate where Wendy Davis gets covered as a national story, but Kermit Gosnell is a local crime story. Female pro-abortion activists, labeled ‘pro-choice’, are rarely put on television with female pro-life, labeled ‘anti-abortion’, activists. They are most often put on television with a man. It is a subtle, but intentional, bit of bias.

The media covers things that liberals in the media are concerned with and frequently takes the victim vs. victimizer narrative as far as they can.

Because conservatives could rarely influence the direction of news or even help shape news stories, they had to go elsewhere. They had to introduce competition into the market. And they have been spectacularly successful at it. Fox News is the highest rated news channel, Rush Limbaugh is the most listened to talk radio host, and the Drudge Report is one of the biggest news sites on the internet.

The mainstream media decided it could ignore conservatives so conservatives started ignoring them. Not only that, but Rush Limbaugh is vastly more entertaining than any liberal talk host and covers a wider range of topics with greater depth than people who do not regularly listen to him would realize.

Conservative media, of which I am a part, is going to be piled on after the election because of some, but not all, within it. The left and certain members of the GOP will gladly try to kill it off altogether. They’ll be helped, in part, by some wildly unsuccessful radio hosts who will do as Media Matters did with its Stop Beck and Stop Rush efforts. Media Matters decided it was worth destroying left-wing talk, which wasn’t successful anyway, as collateral damage. These guys will destroy it all on the right because they couldn’t succeed at it.

The fights after November will be nasty. The real issue will be whether or not conservatives can exercise proper discernment in dealing with the fall out from the Trump mess. What we can be sure of, though, is that a lot of people who wish conservatives across the board ill will gladly try to stoke passions and tempers hoping to burn it all down.

They don’t like that conservatives have been successful in the media and that they lost control of the news.