After spending some time at the beach, I’m binge-reading The Conversation today. I noticed Jon Kahn and John Sexton’s posts have some similarities on the importance of media. I have to admit that I’m torn on the debate saga. Part of me says “Yeah, give ‘em hell, Reince.” Another part of me thinks the media won’t blink and we’ll be left without introducing our candidates to the American people. Then, lose. Again.
We always talk in terms of right and left media, but we can’t ignore which outlets are actually consumed by most Americans. As Ann Coulter noted in “Slander,” the network news programs still get millions more viewers than Fox News, though I’m sure the gap has closed a bit since her book came out in 2002. John Sexton wrote about how comfortable Chris Christie is with mainstream interviews on the late night shows. By contrast, in the last election Romney didn’t respond to a fluff interview request from People magazine. We can stand on our soapbox all day long and say the American people are dumb if they only get their news from People magazine, but that’s not going to help get our candidates noticed. I worry that some in the conservative movement are content with complaining about the playing field not being level as long as they preserve their place of power or notoriety.
It’s time to acknowledge that Vogue, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and others are in many Americans’ homes more often than Fox News or National Review. We can lament or we can engage. If we’re willing to fight for what we believe from the outside, why not fight from the inside? If Rush was willing to do “Family Guy” (and it was awesome), can’t we tell our people to at least respond to and seek out interviews in People magazine and the like?
(Final note: Can we please focus on 2014 before we start hating one another’s 2016 candidates?)