Republicans ‘abandon’ mainstream press, media mourns

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The media began fuming at the Republicans for ignoring or circumventing their questions and interview requests.

The trend started with New York Magazine’s Intelligencer writer David Freedlander, who published an article on Monday outlining “Why Republicans Stopped Talking to the Press.” Freedlander explained that would-be Republican presidential hopefuls such as Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., have shunned the mainstream media to the point of inviting their contempt.

“This view — that mainstream press endorsement is not just unnecessary but actually suspect — is one that has come to dominate GOP politics in the Trump era. The Republican Playbook, More than a dozen GOP campaign operatives, senior Hill aides, and political reporters at major news outlets say the past few years have brought something new: actively courting scorn from the media while avoiding everything which can be considered connivance with the enemy,” Freedlander wrote.

Since the publication of the Freedlander article, other media sites have published their own stories about the growing animosity between Republicans and the mainstream press.


Studio shot of red and blue chess pawns symbolizing the Democratic and Republican parties.
(Tetra Images/Getty Images)

Although recent polls have suggested record levels of trust for newspapers and television media, Charlotte Klein of Vanity Fair pointed out that this change in attitude towards the mainstream press stems mainly from the influence of Richard Nixon and the former President Trump.

“As Freedlander notes, Republicans for decades, dating back to the Nixon years, have targeted the mainstream press, but the momentum has accelerated since the political rise of Donald Trump, as evidenced by the lack of participation of Republicans in everything from political profiles to daily news stories — as well as commentary from those who advise 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’s vote in April to withdraw from the Commission on Presidential Debates.

The Washington Post’s David Weigel dove into a deeper analysis of the phenomenon on Tuesday, noting that Republicans are likely heading to alternative media outlets that are likely more sympathetic to the party.

“As local media numbers dwindle and alternative media explode, Republicans are finding what they disparagingly call ‘fake news’ — or, more diplomatically, ‘legacy media’, less useful. social media and decades of investment in conservative outlets made it easy to reach voters outside of the ‘legacy’ filter,” Weigel wrote.

He added, “These skeptical Republicans now have an array of sources that provide political information 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 timeline that began after early voting began in some states, to the how some members of the commission had criticized the former president.”

President Donald Trump answers a question as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the final presidential debate at the Curb Event <a class=Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22, 2020.”/>

President Donald Trump answers a question as Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the final presidential debate at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22, 2020.
(Morry Gash/Pool via Reuters)

Weigel, however, noted polls suggesting diminishing trust in the media. Additionally, he noted that Democrats also sometimes speak out against media bias against President Biden, saying “bothsideism” prevents positive reports. Despite this, the majority of his coverage focused on Republicans attacking the press.

Politico’s Jack Shafer was particularly critical of Republican candidates in his Thursday piece “Unsolicited Advice for the Pouty Republicans Who Stiff Reporters.” In the article, he called on Republicans for speaking with “friendly conservative media” and “freezing the press.”

“Pitching their pieces to the rejection of Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis currently gives the mainstream press – which even refused to cooperate with The New Yorker for a recent profile – the articles conclude that Republicans think nothing good didn’t just talk to the press, so why bother? Take the easy route of speaking with friendly conservative media, their thinking goes, and relying on social media and their own podcasts to reach the masses. Even President Barack Obama, not a Republican, saw good politics in the press freeze,” Shafer wrote.

He also warned: “The clash between Republican candidates and the press is likely to expand before it contracts. But it’s short term.


DeSantis publicist Christina Pushaw pushed back on the article via her Twitter account shortly after it was published.

“Hi @jackshafer! FYI, you’re wrong about why @GovRonDeSantis doesn’t speak to liberal media, including Politico. He’s not worried about ‘negative press’; you’re always negative. That’s is just that he doesn’t. And he doesn’t want to give you clicks or ratings,” Pushaw tweeted.

She also went on to write, “As a media reporter for Politico, I’m sure @jackshafer understands why we wouldn’t ‘cooperate with the New Yorker.’ @GovRonDeSantis granting them an interview would have allowed a liberal activist to announce the news, promote yourself and make money with #DeSantisForClicks. We don’t play.”

“Sorry @jackshafer but no, we don’t need that. The media gets MORE obsessive when we don’t talk to them. No one trusts ‘mainstream’ media anymore. Everyone uses social media in broadcasting live from FL Your days as a guard are over,” she concluded.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, speaks at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit on July 22, 2022.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, speaks at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit on July 22, 2022.
(Sarah Freeman/Fox News)


Fellow New York Magazine Intelligencer writer Jonathan Chait has previously attacked Republican claims 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.”

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