Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Media Targets Republicans Running for President

I was watching the “O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News yesterday, and Bill O’Reilly commented that any Republican running for President is probably going to be hammered by a main stream media that most likely will be doing everything it can to support Barack Obama for re-election.

As evidence, he showed a videotape segments from last Sunday’s “Meet the Press” during which host David Gregory implied that announced Republican candidate Newt Gingrich might be racist for saying that a black President Barack Obama should be best known for having the most Americans on food stamps.  Gingrich bristled at the implication, labeling it "bizarre." After showing the clip, O’Reilly said that many reporters will accuse Obama critics of being racist.

While I already wrote a posting giving my impression that the media will play in the race card in the 2012 election, I thought that O’Reilly might have been overreacting to the Gregory incident with Gingrich.  Then I picked up my copy of the Arizona Republic this morning and saw two very derogatory references to Gingrich.  On the editorial page, there was an unflattering cartoon of an overweight Gingrich in a Revolutionary War outfit saying, “I only regret that I have three wives to give my country.”  On the following page, I read a very negative column by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen who accused Gingrich of getting his facts wrong and using “the ugly language of demagoguery.”

While I vote Republican, I am not always enamored with Gingrich, but he strikes me as being a very bright man who has many ideas that are worth exploring.  That doesn’t seem to matter to the main stream media because in less than one week (Gingrich announced his candidacy late last week), I have witnessed the news media do everything it can to savage this man.  Now I no longer think that O’Reilly was exaggerating yesterday.

Because of my decades in various forms of professional communications, I have come to know many reporters.  Most of them are wonderful people, and most of them admit to being quite liberal.  However, their visceral dislike for Republicans at times seems almost irrational.  It is one thing to disagree with any politician on policy, but I know reporters who I consider to be good people who actually think Republicans are evil.  I have often said that just because Republicans might not agree with your liberal solutions to problems does not mean that they want the problems to continue.  They just have different solutions that do not include soaking the taxpayers.

Despite the lack of fairness in our media, modern day Republicans need to toughen up a bit and remember some historical facts.  The great Republican Ronald Regan won two presidential elections by large margins even though the media at the time was overwhelmingly hostile toward him.  There was no talk radio, Internet or Fox News at the time to balance the tremendous bias of the major news networks, yet it didn’t deter Reagan.  History has proven that if a Republican has a good, sound message, the public will buy it no matter how much the liberal media tries to distort it.

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