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.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Hate-Crime Hoaxes Reflect America’s Sickness

On January 29, tabloid news site TMZ broke the shocking story that Jussie Smollett, a gay black entertainer and progressive activist, had been viciously attacked in Chicago. Two racist white men had fractured his rib, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. As they were leaving, they shouted ... Read More
World

Ilhan Omar’s Big Lie

In a viral exchange at a congressional hearing last week, the new congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, who is quickly establishing herself as the most reprehensible member of the House Democratic freshman class despite stiff competition, launched into Elliott Abrams. She accused the former Reagan official ... Read More
PC Culture

Fake Newspeople

This week, the story of the Jussie Smollett hoax gripped the national media. The story, for those who missed it, went something like this: The Empire actor, who is both black and gay, stated that on a freezing January night in Chicago, in the middle of the polar vortex, he went to a local Subway store to buy a ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More
U.S.

Questions for Those Who Believed Jussie Smollett

The “we reported the Jussie Smollett case responsibly” contention has been blasted to smithereens. Twitter accounts and headlines in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times reported as fact Jussie Smollett’s wildly implausible allegations, and many other journalists did so as ... Read More
Elections

One Last Grift for Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the antique Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, is not quite ready to retire to his lakeside dacha and so once again is running for the presidential nomination of a party to which he does not belong with an agenda about which he cannot be quite entirely ... Read More