You've got to go where the audience is

In response to Striking the Right Balance with the Media:

That’s a great point about the dangers of avoiding media outlets with big viewership, Lisa.  I’m not sure where this RNC protest against CNN and NBC will ultimately end up, but looking at where it stands so far, I can go along with the idea of firing a shot across the biased-media bow.  Really, the idea of these news/entertainment conglomerates producing a splashy documentary about one of the likely presidential candidates is simply absurd, let alone two of them.  And while they might not make their stories outright hagiographies, the smart money says they’re not going to produce anything that would make Team Clinton unhappy.  We already watched the Clinton machine kill the “Path to 9/11.”  They’re not going to permit anything that dwells on Benghazi, or Hillary’s paranoia, or her utter lack of actual achievements, or her cold-eyed political calculation to stand behind Slick Willy while he was tomcatting across the country.

But the Republicans do want to be carefully about handing sizable audiences over to the Democrats unchallenged.  They were a bit too worried about media ambushes during the Romney campaign, and it hurt them.  A good candidate can take control of the conversation, especially during a “fluff” show, even when the host secretly hates his guts.  (On the other hand, it’ll be fun watching the sycophantic media spend 2016 carefully avoiding mention of the many topics that would make Hillary blow a gasket and storm off the stage.  Doubtless anyone who tries to push her buttons will be accused of misogyny.)

I’ve heard a lot of insider theories floated about the RNC spat with NBC and CNN.  It’s been described as the public wing of an internal power play, with the real objective cutting down on the number of debates, so the promising candidates don’t come off the rails with an unfortunate soundbite (or, if you’re feeling less charitable, so that the insurgent candidates don’t have too many chances to knock off the Establishment guys.)  Some think it was part of a negotiating process with the media to get better debate coverage and moderation.  It might have been a play for sympathy with the public, a substantial portion of which does seem to think the Hillary biopics are a bit too much.  

Whatever the case, let us hope the upshot does not involve abandoning millions of TV viewers into Democrat hands during the presidential campaign.  I’ve always said the winning Republican candidate will be the one who sallies forth into a media battlefield he knows is unfairly slanted against him, or her, and wades in with a happy-warrior grin.  It’s not fair, and it’s not fair that the media works so hard to keep Democrat candidates viable, although it rarely reaches the level of Candy Crowley throwing herself into the ring on Obama’s side to help him spread a lie on national TV.  Now that you know such a thing is possible, be ready for it, Republicans.  Pointing out the unfairness is fine; wallowing in self-pity about it is pointless. We all know the game.  Now go out and win it.

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