Report: Conservatives, Republicans Could Cut Off Establishment Media in 2024 Cycle

SUNRISE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 26: U.S. President Donald Trump introduces Florida Governor Ro
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Conservatives and Republicans could, a new report suggests, cut off establishment media outlets’ access in the 2024 election cycle as GOP lawmakers and candidates look to alternative communication channels to tell their stories.

The prospect of the establishment media’s precarious position was captured in a Tuesday article written by the Dispatch’s David Drucker in which he warned Republican lawmakers and candidates heading into the 2024 election cycle “could attempt to freeze out mainstream journalists,” paralyzing television networks’ content creation and crushing their claims of political neutrality.

Drucker warned the establishment media could be suffocated by conservatives because “many young GOP communications aides staffing campaigns who came of age in the past decade remain unaccustomed to working with mainstream journalists.”

Public trust in national news media has plummeted in recent years. For instance, a February poll found 50 percent of Americans say the national media intend to mislead, misinform, and persuade the public. Only 35 percent say most news organizations could be relied upon.

Garrett Ventry, a GOP strategist who advises Republican House Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), told Breitbart News that Republican lawmakers are turning to alternative strategies to communicate with Americans due to unfair coverage.

Just last week, Stefanik was targeted by a taxpayer-funded NPR affiliate. In a Breitbart News article, Stefanik’s office pushed back and called out the “sexist” network for “lying” to its readers.

“Republicans are smartly leveraging other avenues to get out their message instead of relying on the mainstream press,” Ventry said. “Trump started this smart strategy when he ran for President in 2016, engaging with conservative media to pump his message to millions of readers and voters.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2023, Saturday, March 4, 2023, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2023, Saturday, March 4, 2023, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Some Republicans may be worried that if they do not participate in establishment media stories their media presence may be diminished — however distorted their views and positions might be presented to viewers and readers in those media outlets.

If Republicans refuse to work with establishment outlets, Vish Burra, the co-creator of Firebrand, told Breitbart News they could be forced to air or publish fairer content from alternative media just to get the GOP perspective in their products.

“Establishment media is a slave to the media cycle so one way or another, so long as a quote or footage of the subject exists on the matter an establishment journo is designated to cover, they will take that content anywhere they can get it and air it on their networks regardless of where that content originated from,” Burra said.

While some of these establishment media outlets could face further backlash from conservative lawmakers and candidates, many of them already face lagging revenue amid deteriorating ratings.

CNN, “a far-left propaganda outlet that spreads conspiracy theories and political violence,” according to Breitbart News’s John Nolte, has experienced a massive decline in ratings and profitability. In January, CNN’s ratings plunged to a nine-year low. MSNBC fared slightly better.

Newspapers are not doing much better. Last year, the Washington Post admitted it was on track to lose money in 2022. New York Times reported:

The organization is on track to lose money in 2022, after years of profitability, according to two people with knowledge of the company’s finances. The Post now has fewer than the three million paying digital subscribers that it had hailed internally near the end of 2020, according to several people at the organization. Digital ad revenue generated by The Post fell to roughly $70 million during the first half of the year, about 15 percent lower than in the first half of 2021, according to a recent internal financial document reviewed by The New York Times.

It appears Republican media consultants are realizing the establishment media’s reduced influence.

“I increasingly hear from my clients that they have no desire to speak to the New York Times, the Washington Post or CNN,” Brad Todd, a Republican strategist, told Drucker. “Their argument is: Our voters don’t care what they write, so why should we care what they write?”

Republican consultant Todd Harris also told Drucker that Republicans were previously forced to work with the establishment media, but that is not true anymore. “It used to be, you’d engage with the mainstream media because that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “But now, there’s a risk-reward element. If you’re going to do it, there better be a payoff.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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