Here is a cold reality for Republicans: The mainstream news media is not and will never be on our side. Whether or not that reality is fair, just or ethical, that is the reality we face and the field on which we must battle. Continually whining about the biased media is not going to present a solution to the problem. Republicans need to work with what we have and bypass the media when possible – and that is more possible today than ever before.
Republicans today have an advantage that was not available thirty years ago: The Internet and social media. This was just starting to blossom when I first got active in politics back in 1995, but is now it is much more of a force than anyone would have predicted twenty years ago. Through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and even e-mail we can get our message out in a way that we could not do even ten years ago. We even have dozens upon dozens of conservative websites, from The Blaze to Townhall.com, Reason.com and National Review. So why not just use those advantages instead of whining about the media?
Now, this is not to excuse media bias, outright falsehoods in reporting, or burying important stories that either benefit Republicans or damage Democrats. We should hold the media accountable for these things, both to educate the voters that what they are seeing is slanted or even false, and to pressure the media to report on things accurately and fairly. Sometimes that works. While the Herald-Times, for example, has some real problems, I have seen the H-T treat Republicans more fairly over the last few years than in what was published in the 1990’s or the first decade of the 21st Century. There are still problems but it has improved.
With all of the advantages we have today, we Republicans only have ourselves to blame if we cannot get our message out. There is an opportunity cost to everything: The time writing a post on a blog or on Facebook complaining about media bias is forever lost to getting our message out. We also need to be careful not to look like crybabies or sore losers. Let’s take advantage of the fact that in today’s world, everyone with a Facebook profile is a journalist and can get the message out. Let’s stop whining and do the work of reaching voters and forming a solid, well-argued and well-researched message for our party.