Here’s an argument you don’t hear too often: Republicans are benefiting from the Beltway media. Then again, it’s Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters, who’s making the argument.
Worth a look anyway.
Boehlert writes in the Huffington Post today:
[A]s confirmation battles like the ugly one surrounding Chuck Hagel to become the next Secretary of Defense continue to boil, the press keeps giving Republicans all kinds of cover.
In fact, the Hagel story, in which Obama made an effort to change the tone in Washington, D.C. by including a Republican in his Cabinet, only to have the goodwill gesture trampled by Republicans, perfectly captures the skewed way the news media depict modern-day politics. And the way journalists who beseech Obama to change the tone give him no credit when he tries.
Instead, we’re told Obama is courting controversy, he’s picking a fight, because he’s doing what newly elected presidents have done for centuries in this country, he’s selecting respected, well-qualified individuals whom he trusts to serve in his Cabinet. Writing for Bloomberg, Francis Wilkinson suggested that by nominating a Republican, Obama had intensified the Beltway’s “polarization.”
If this seems unusual, that’s because it is. What’s also unusual is that the Beltway press mostly refuses to acknowledge the strange obstructionist ways being adopted by the GOP as these dogged cabinet fights continue to roll out.
And the real kicker…
Writes Boehlert: “When Obama tried to [break gridlock by appointing a Republican to his cabinet] the gesture was slapped down by obstructionist Republicans, the press gave the president no credit and pretended the GOP’s cabinet blowback was routine. Obama just can’t win with that crowd.”