The Corner

Running Against the Media Probably Won’t Work for Trump

Readers of a certain age may remember George H. W. Bush’s delight in 1992 in a bumper sticker that read, “Annoy the Media: Re-Elect Bush.” Newt Gingrich is predicting/advocating that Trump employ the same strategy: “A substantial part of the campaign is going to be–if you think the news media is honest and fair and totally neutral, then you ought to vote for Hillary. But if you think the news media is biased, then join me.”

Most people thought that the press was biased back in 1992–a Pew survey found that 63 percent of respondents thought news organizations “tend to favor one side” on social and political questions. That number had risen to 76 percent by 2013, the most recent time Pew appears to have asked the question. In 1992, though, a lot of people who consider the press biased appear not to have thought the issue should determine their vote. Annoying the media, that is, wasn’t high on their list of priorities. If I were Trump or Manafort, I’d want to see some strong evidence that’s changed before making an attack on the media–however much it may sometimes deserve it–a “substantial part of the campaign.”

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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