by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A short item this week on the news site Semafor had an interesting way of describing the existing dynamic between the national news media and Joe Biden’s angry reelection campaign.
It said Biden’s team has “begun organizing a series of off-the-record trips for top political reporters and editors” to meet up at campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, for the purpose of “background briefings on campaign strategy.”
I’d like to think that the person who authored the article is just hopelessly naive, but it’s Ben Smith, who has been running in these circles for what feels like three lifetimes. So he certainly knows that contrary to his depiction, these aren’t boring scenes where curious reporters show up to get a rundown of Biden’s campaign schedule and themes. That’s not what happens.
What happens is the nation’s most influential media outlets send representatives to a Democrat candidate’s facilities — in this case, Biden’s campaign headquarters — to coordinate what their coming “news coverage” should look like, according to the Democrat’s needs and preferences. Thusly, Smith wrote that in these recent meetings, “Campaign officials have chafed at some of the coverage of former President Donald Trump, feeling that outlets are too focused on his legal troubles and haven’t paid enough attention to some of his incendiary recent statements on the campaign trail.”
In other words, CNN and MSNBC are about to start showing a lot more clips from Trump rallies wherein he says something that’s supposed to offend the audience. And if it doesn’t, no problem. Jake Tapper and Joe Scarborough will be on hand to helpfully explain why it should. Over and over and over again.
We’ve already seen a version of this play out in recent days. Not even a month ago, in perfect unison, the media reupped their Trump-is-Hitler routine.