Conservative lays out how reporters can hold the GOP’s ‘feet to the fire’ in the Biden era

Conservative lays out how reporters can hold the GOP’s ‘feet to the fire’ in the Biden era
John Stoehr, The Editorial Board
The media is making a big mistake about Republican support for Trump's attempted coup

Far-right Republicans repeatedly claim that the "mainstream liberal media" are consistently unfair to the GOP, but conservative Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin disagrees. In her December 18 column, the Never Trump journalist argues that reporters should fact-check Republicans as aggressively as possible in the Biden era and lays out some post-Trump recommendations for 2021.

"We are not off to a good start in the coverage of the Republican Party in the post-Trump era," Rubin warns. "Political pundits and reporters, especially those in the permanently aggrieved right-wing media, have seen fit to discuss at length Jill Biden's use of her earned doctorate in her title. As is often the case, all they have done is give oxygen to a baseless spasm of misogyny."

Rubin also mentions the Republican "phony outrage" that followed a Glamour Magazine interview in which Jen O'Malley Dillon, President-elect Joe Biden's campaign manager and his nominee for White House deputy chief of staff, used some profanity. Dillon's occasional use of profanity, Rubin stresses, is a "nonstory" promoted by Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republicans — and rather than offering "excessive media indulgence of Republican hypocrisy," the columnist adds, reporters will need to scrutinize them in 2021 when they behave badly.

"It is time to stop giving air to Republicans' phony outrage and to hold them accountable for their own language and conduct on race and gender," Rubin writes. "First, as a general rule, when Republicans say they are upset or outraged, they almost never are. They do not care about foul language after four years of President Trump, or about deficits after four years of Republican government…. The media should stop taking seriously politicians' harping, especially from those who have lied about the election, about (President Donald) Trump's record, about Trump's own words and about their knowledge of Trump's words."

Rubin goes on to say that after Biden is sworn in as president on January 20, 2021, journalists will need to call out sexist attacks on women in his administration.

"It is no coincidence that the Republican or right-wing columnists who complain about Democratic women are almost always men," Rubin writes. "No one could have watched four years of Trump's attacks on women's intelligence and appearance or his demeaning language — e.g., 'suburban housewives,' 'nasty,' 'monster' — without understanding that the strain of misogyny runs a mile wide in the GOP."

Rubin also recommends that journalists aggressively scrutinize Republicans for racism in 2021.

"Throughout the last four years, the media seemed to gloss over the appalling lack of diversity in Republican ranks," Rubin observes. "It would behoove reporters to start asking Republicans why they overwhelmingly favor White men in key roles. Not a single African-American was appointed to a federal court of appeals under Trump."

Rubin wraps up her column by emphasizing that in the Biden era, reporters should avoiding indulging fake GOP grievances.

"In short, the media routinely give far too much credence to Republicans' complaints and far too much latitude in their rhetoric about race and gender," Rubin writes. "Rather than taking faux complaints seriously, the media would do well to start holding Republicans' feet to the fire on the appalling lack of diversity and the toleration of the racism and misogyny that is endemic in their party."


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