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Encouraging lessons from deep dives into the media “hive” and the 2020 election results

by | Aug 27, 2021

By Dave Andrusko

Sometimes—and today is one of those times—you stumble across an old story (as in a little over four years back) and a much more recent story (this past January) and your eyes just light up.

The first story came from the May/June 2017 Politico Magazine followed in the wake of President Trump’s surprising victory in 2016—a colossal disappointment  to the Media Elite who both hated him and didn’t have a clue what his appeal was. The second, from the Washington Post of nearly eight months ago, did an excellent job of answering the question in their headline: “Trump lost, but he won millions of new voters. Where did they come from?.” 

Why are they worth taking a look at? Both as a reminder that we are not imagining media bias (although the authors attribute it almost entirely to journalists living—literally—in a “bubble”) and that what we’ve been told is the virtual inevitable march to victory by an army of pro-abortion Democrats, is a media fabrication, a classic example of the wish being father to the thought. 

Certainly the chaotic events since January 20 when Democrats assumed control of Congress and the presidency are proof positive that pro-life Republicans are in a much stronger position.

In a nutshell, Politico’s Jack Shafer and Tucker Doherty tell us that media groupthink was not and (no doubt would insist today) is not a product of conscious bias but geography. They tell us to determine “Where do journalists work, and how much has that changed in recent years?” they “excavated labor statistics and cross-referenced them against voting patterns and Census data to figure out just what the American media landscape looks like, and how much it has changed.”

What did they find?

The results read like a revelation. The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn’t true as recently as 2008. And the bubble is growing more extreme. Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you’re a working journalist, odds aren’t just that you work in a pro-Clinton county—odds are that you reside in one of the nation’s most pro-Clinton counties. And you’ve got company: If you’re a typical reader of Politico, chances are you’re a citizen of bubbleville, too.

So what is the “ best medicine for journalistic myopia”? 

Journalists respond to their failings best when their vanity is punctured with proof that they blew a story that was right in front of them. If the burning humiliation of missing the biggest political story in a generation won’t change newsrooms, nothing will.

This was written four years ago. Does anyone who is not a media apologist or a pro-abortion Democrat buoyed by the media hive  think they “learned their lesson”? Of course not.

David Byler’s January 5th Washington Post story demonstrates that some reporters can look the truth in the face and report it without fear or favor.

His “What it means” conclusion is solidly based on the evidence Byler presented, starting with Trump’s rising support among Latinos:

Though Trump lost both the popular vote and the electoral college in his battle with Biden, he boosted his totals in red states such as Tennessee, as well as Democratic strongholds such as California. He attracted new support in cities, small towns and exurbs in battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Florida. Even in defeat, the depth and breadth of Trump’s gains suggest that the Republican Party, and Trump himself, can be expected to search for — and find — new voters in a broader array of states in the coming years than is widely understood.

We  just need to make sure we do our part—and I know we will—to elect pro-life Republicans over pro-abortion Democrats!

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