The Republicans' Manufactured Media War (Truthout)

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The Republicans' Manufactured Media War
Sunday, 08 November 2015                   

By Michael Corcoran, Truthout | News Analysis

After the first Republican presidential debate on August 6, 2015, Donald Trump, a former reality television star, made a joke about the moderator's menstrual cycle. Trump also spoke of how he wants to build a $6.4 billion security wall along the border and charge the bill to the Mexican government (which is understandably befuddled by the candidate's "enormous ignorance"). At the second GOP debate on September 16, Dr. Ben Carson answered a question about his flat-tax proposal that made it painfully clear he does not understand the difference between progressive taxation and socialism. Using Carson's criteria, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were both socialist presidents.

These ridiculous comments from past debates came from the two front-runners in the Republican primary - who both complain about a lack of substance in presidential debates.

These kinds of ironies abound in the Republican candidates' latest crusade against the media. The Republicans took issue with several of the moderator's questions in the October 28, 2015, GOP presidential debate in Colorado. Since then a wave of Republican anger has erupted over the way "the media" handles the presidential debates. The crux of the argument is that CNBC - and the rest of the media - have what Carson calls "a political agenda" to discredit the Republican candidates. The issue has dominated the news cycle, led some candidates to make a list of demands for future debates and prompted some high-profile candidates to support suspending future debates on NBC platforms.

There is no doubt that presidential debates in America, for both parties, are deeply flawed and lacking in substance. The politicians and the media all share in the blame for this. But the Republicans' latest campaign is not an effort to solve this problem but rather an effort to scare the public into believing that the mainstream media are conspiring to advance a leftist agenda.

If one looks beyond the GOP's alarmist rhetoric, however, a different reality emerges. The truth is that CNBC's coverage is extremely hostile to the left and embraces the GOP's worldview in many ways. Further, the relationship between its parent company, Comcast, and the Republican Party, is just one example of just how the corporate media and the GOP have many shared interests. This latest anti-media blitz following the CNBC debate is merely a disingenuous act of political theater

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