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Media outlets have begun to fume at Republicans for ignoring or bypassing their questions and requests for interviews.
The trend began with New York Magazine’s Intelligencer writer David Freedlander publishing a piece describing “Why Republicans Stopped Talking to the Press” on Monday. Freedlander explained that possible Republican presidential hopefuls such as Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., have been avoiding mainstream media to the point of actually inviting their scorn.
“This view — that approval from the mainstream press isn’t just unnecessary but actually suspect — is one that has come to dominate GOP politics in the Trump era. And while railing against the so-called liberal media has long been a part of the Republican playbook, more than a dozen GOP campaign operatives, senior Hill aides, and political reporters from major news outlets say the past few years have brought something new: actively courting the media’s scorn while avoiding anything that may be viewed as consorting with the enemy,” Freedlander wrote.
Since Freedlander’s article was published, other media sites printed their own pieces on the growing animosity between Republicans and the mainstream press.
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Although recent polls have suggested a record low level of trust for newspapers and TV media, Vanity Fair’s Charlotte Klein emphasized this change in attitude towards mainstream press came mostly from the influence of Richard Nixon and former President Trump.
“As Freedlander notes, Republicans for decades, going back to the Nixon years, have taken aim at the mainstream press, but the dynamic has ratcheted up since Donald Trump’s political rise, evidenced by a lack of participation by Republicans in everything from political profiles to daily news stories—as well as comments from those advising them,” Klein wrote on Tuesday.
Klein also lamented that the “future of presidential debates also remains to be seen” based on the Republican National Committee voting in April to withdraw from the Commission on Presidential Debates.
The Washington Post’s David Weigel dived into a deeper analysis of the phenomenon on Tuesday, noting that Republicans are likely going to alternative media outlets that are probably more favorable to the party.
“As the number of local media outlets shrink, and as alternative media outlets boom, Republicans are finding less use for what they disparagingly call ‘fake news’ — or, more diplomatically, the ‘legacy media.’ Social media, and decades of investment in conservative outlets, have made it easy to reach voters outside of the ‘legacy’ filter,” Weigel wrote.
He added, “Those skeptical Republicans now have an array of sources that deliver political news they trust, including podcasts and TV shows that interview Republicans without what DeSantis called ‘gotcha” questions. This spring, when the Republican National Committee voted to stop participating in the Commission on Presidential Debates, the reasons ranged from criticism of Trump, to a schedule that started after early voting began in some states, to how some of the commission’s members had criticized the former president.”
Weigel, however, did note polls that suggested shrinking trust in media. In addition, he remarked that Democrats also sometimes blast media bias against President Biden, claiming “bothsideism” prevented positive reports. Despite this, a majority of his coverage focused on Republicans attacking the press.
Politico’s Jack Shafer was particularly critical of Republican candidates in his Thursday article “Unsolicited Advice for the Pouty Republicans Who Stiff Reporters.” In the piece, he called out Republicans for speaking with “friendly conservative outlets” and “freezing the press out.”
“Pegging their pieces to the brush-off Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is currently giving to the mainstream press — who even refused to cooperate with the New Yorker for a recent profile — the pieces conclude that Republicans figure nothing good comes from talking to the press, so why bother? Take the easy path by speaking with friendly conservative outlets, their thinking goes, and depend on social media and their own podcasts to reach the masses. Even President Barack Obama, no Republican he, saw the good politics in freezing the press out,” Shafer wrote.
He also warned, “The stand-off between Republican candidates and the press is likely to expand before it contracts. But that’s in the short term. Making the media the enemy has a way of boomeranging on politicians.”
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DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, pushed back on the article through her Twitter account shortly after it was published.
“Hi @jackshafer! FYI, you are wrong about the reason @GovRonDeSantis doesn’t talk to liberal media, including Politico. He isn’t worried about “negative press”; you’re always negative. It’s just that he doesn’t care. And he doesn’t want to give you clicks or ratings,” Pushaw tweeted.
She also followed up writing, “As a media reporter for Politico, I am sure @jackshafer understands why we wouldn’t ‘cooperate with the New Yorker’. @GovRonDeSantis giving them an interview would’ve allowed a liberal activist to break news, self promote, and make money off #DeSantisForClicks. We aren’t playing.”
“Sorry @jackshafer but no, we don’t need this. Media get MORE obsessive when we don’t talk to them. Nobody trusts ‘mainstream’ media anymore. Everyone uses social media. Also, @GovRonDeSantis does press conferences and TV channels in FL live stream. Your gatekeeper days are over,” she concluded.
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Fellow New York Magazine’s Intelligencer writer Jonathan Chait previously attacked Republican assertions that the media is heavily biased against them as opposed to liberals. He also warned that without “media accountability” Republicans would “govern like a one party state.”
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/republicans-ditching-mainstream-press-media-outlets-mourn