Sunday, November 1, 2015

Josh Marshall on GOP Outrage Machine

Josh Marshall unmasks Republican "betrayal" in a debate co-sponsored by the RNC and a right-leaning cable network on Talking Points Memo.

Republicans say that the debate was a disaster because the moderators were too hard on the candidates, focused too little on substance and made the debate a showcase of media bias. But let's get real. The debate was co-hosted by the RNC, literally the Republican Party, and CNBC, which is essentially a niche news network for the investor class. As I noted, I thought John Harwood was the only standout from the moderators. Fair but sharp questions focused on candidate's policy proposals. The shortcomings of the other moderators were either that they asked excessively Tea Partyish questions or that they let the candidates get off too easy (like with Trump on Zuckerberg.)

The upshot is this. If your own party partners with a right-leaning news network and the debate is still a media bias catastrophe, well, something is seriously wrong. I would suggest that it's a party in an outrage infinite feedback loop which cannot get its footing without finding some outside force which is betraying it or holding it down or otherwise doing it wrong. But I'll leave that judgment to others. It really is something like electing John Boehner Speaker of the House, an establishment figure but very much a down the line conservative, and deciding he's simply an Obamabot lapdog whose betrayals must end. The debate wasn't great. But in terms of unfairness to the candidates or media bias, the complaints about it are simply laughable.

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