The Corner

U.S.

How Clickbaiting and Ratings Mongering Cuts against Liberal Media Bias

One of the admittedly minor complaints about liberal media bias has long been how the MSM elevates extremely marginal Republican or right-wing politicians in order to tar conservatism and the GOP as a whole. Whether it’s the now forgotten W. Cleon Skousen, David Duke — briefly an actual Republican politician — or more recently, figures like Dana Rohrabacher, the ploy was as annoying as it was effective.

Controversy has always sold newspapers and driven ratings, but in the era of media balkanization and specialization, the need to fuel the outrage machine has never been stronger. And as a result, it can run against the grain of the imperatives of ideological or partisan bias.

Newly elected Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are getting an enormous amount of media coverage. For some, this might seem like proof of liberal media bias itself. And to some extent it might be, particularly in the case of AOC. But even there, having the Democratic party defined by a socialism-promoting ingenue who literally wants to abolish the existing energy infrastructure in the United States in a decade, is not necessarily in the national party’s electoral interests. The Democrats took back the House by winning over Republican or Republican-friendly districts, not AOC’s comfortably Democratic district.

Meanwhile, the spectacle of two anti-Israel fanatics talking themselves into knots trying to defend themselves against charges of anti-Semitism or terrorist sympathies can’t be the messaging Nancy Pelosi craves in her first month as speaker. But it’s great for ratings, graded on the curve of what counts for good ratings in cable news. The journalists interviewing these women may not be as tough as many of us would like, but the result for the average voter may be the same.

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White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
World

The U.K. Elections Were the Real Second Referendum

In the end, it wasn’t close at all. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party met a fate to which it has been accustomed for most of the last half-century. Once again, the British roundly rejected socialism. Boris Johnson and his conservatives will form the next British government. This was no slight rejection. Labour ... Read More
World

The U.K. Elections Were the Real Second Referendum

In the end, it wasn’t close at all. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party met a fate to which it has been accustomed for most of the last half-century. Once again, the British roundly rejected socialism. Boris Johnson and his conservatives will form the next British government. This was no slight rejection. Labour ... Read More
World

Well . . . .

So much for my prophecies of doom. Britain's Conservatives won, and they won with a very healthy parliamentary majority, breaking through Labour’s “red wall” across the industrial (and post-industrial) Midlands and the North. The BBC: Leave-voting former mining towns like Workington, which was seen as ... Read More
World

Well . . . .

So much for my prophecies of doom. Britain's Conservatives won, and they won with a very healthy parliamentary majority, breaking through Labour’s “red wall” across the industrial (and post-industrial) Midlands and the North. The BBC: Leave-voting former mining towns like Workington, which was seen as ... Read More
White House

The Costs of Trivializing Impeachment

Resorting to a vague “abuse of power” theory, the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning referred two articles of impeachment to the full House on the inevitable party-line vote. The full House will impeach the president next week, perhaps Wednesday, also on the inevitable party-line vote. The scarlet ... Read More
White House

The Costs of Trivializing Impeachment

Resorting to a vague “abuse of power” theory, the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning referred two articles of impeachment to the full House on the inevitable party-line vote. The full House will impeach the president next week, perhaps Wednesday, also on the inevitable party-line vote. The scarlet ... Read More