The "Preach to the Choir" GOP Media Strategy

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 11 2012 10:45 AM

The "Preach to the Choir" GOP Media Strategy

McKay Coppins is out with a fun piece about the GOP's reliance on friendly media. You haven't seen John Boehner making his arguments on the hated "MSM." You've seen press conferences on the Hill and occasional Fox News interviews.

It's an interesting argument, though I'm not sure what Boehner could gain by doing more TV interviews on NBC and CBS News. The way news is digested now, some people watch the real thing, and more people click "share" on stories about whatever gaffes were uttered. The more important part of the story might be this anecdote about what conservative media can't do.

One Republican official recalled working earlier this year to get a potentially damaging story about a Democratic candidate into The New York Times — only to have an impatient colleague leak the scoop to a conservative website. The story shot through the online right, but failed to gain mainstream traction.
"I was like, great, we made the people who were already voting for us even angrier," the official snarked to BuzzFeed. "Mission accomplished."

What damaging story was this? It could be anything, but I immediately thought of the 11th hour Daily Caller story about prostitutes who claimed to have slept with New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez -- right inside the NYT's distribution zone. It blew up on the right. Menendez then won re-election by 19 points.

Here's the problem. In the rest of the media, that Menendez story was seen as too flimsy to follow up, with thin sourcing, even if it matched rumors New Jersey reporters had heard about the senator. Among the conservative readership, the MSM's failure to follow up the story looked like a clear case of a cover-up that benefited a liberal. Actually, this is touched on in the Coppins story -- Jon Huntsman's decision to talk to the Huffington Post was seen on the right as proof that Huntsman was a RINO, not as a worthwhile exercise for Republicans who wanted to get heard.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 20 2014 1:50 PM Why We Shouldn’t Be Too Sure About the Supposed Deal to Return the Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Dear Prudence
Oct. 20 2014 3:12 PM Terror Next Door Prudie advises a letter writer whose husband is dangerously, violently obsessed with the neighbors.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.