How the 'so-called liberal media' fell for bogus 'right-wing narratives' with the midterms: journalist

How the 'so-called liberal media' fell for bogus 'right-wing narratives' with the midterms: journalist
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Long before Donald Trump’s presidency and the MAGA movement, Republicans were accusing the mainstream media of having a liberal bias and being unfair to conservatives. But in reality, right-wing talking points and right-wing narratives have no problem making their presence felt in the mainstream media. Even liberal-leaning MSNBC has its share of conservative hosts and guests, albeit conservatives with a decidedly anti-Trump perspective.

Michael Tomasky, in article published by The New Republic on November 9, is critical of mainstream media coverage of the 2022 midterms — arguing that many reporters were quick to echo right-wing narratives and claims that the election results did not bear out. Countless pundits predicted that the midterms would bring a major red wave like the red waves of 1994 and 2010, but that didn’t happen. On the morning of November 9, it remained to been seen whether Democrats or Republicans would be in charge of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate in 2023.

“First of all,” Tomasky writes, “let’s stipulate that expectation of a red wave this election was entirely warranted. I was prepared for the worst myself. Recent history and Joe Biden’s bad approval numbers suggested a big Republican night. It didn’t come close to happening. So: why?”

READ MORE: Here are 5 of the GOP’s biggest 2022 midterms disappointments

Tomasky continues, “My answer: because the mainstream media, the so-called ‘liberal’ media, goes out of its way during every campaign to emphasize news of Dems in disarray. Twenty polls show the Dobbs decision matters to voters. But look, here comes one outlier that shows Dobbs not registering! That’s news! Let’s play up that one! I’ve watched a lot of elections in my life, and I’ve seen this happen time after time after time…. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of headlines over these last four weeks screaming that everything was moving toward Republicans.”

Tomasky goes on to say that the mainstream media “got four main narratives really, really wrong” in the 2022 midterms. The reality of the midterms’ outcome, he writes, is that: (1) “Independents and moderates backed Democrats,” (2) “Abortion mattered after all,” (3) “Latinos did not abandon the Democratic Party,” and (4) “Joe Biden was not a huge albatross around Democrats’ neck.”

“I might toss in a fifth: that maybe voters care about democracy after all,” Tomasky adds. “This too became conventional wisdom — that voters didn’t care about the fate of the country and that Democrats were wasting their time talking about such airy-fairy nonsense. It looks like enough voters cared. Will the media ever learn? Doubtful.”

Tomasky continues, “The right-wing propaganda machine creates these memes. Republican pols get out there and say whatever. Kevin McCarthy once said the Republicans were going to pick up 60 House seats. The mainstream media, hungry for trafficky narratives and out to prove that it doesn’t favor Democrats, laps it up. It creates a narrative that, yes, has sometimes been true in the past but is often not — and Tuesday night was wildly, embarrassingly out of touch with reality.”

READ MORE: 'He’s never been weaker': Conservatives 'rage at Trump' over red tsunami that never materialized

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