Conservative Media: A Shipwreck!

Dear Commons Community,

The Huffington Post has an article on the conservative news media that paints a picture of an industry in disarray.  It interviews a number of prominent editors and producers of conservative news and the result is a grim picture.  For example:

“There’s absolutely no pretense from any of these publications [conservative news] of giving a policy a sort of objective hearing,” Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative, “It’s very clear that it comes from the same mindset as talk radio and Fox News. This is something that’s by and for a particular kind of conservative.”…

McCarthy didn’t mince words when describing the current state of conservative media: “It’s a shipwreck.”

McCarthy praised reporting by Robert Costa and the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney, but had a less positive take on newer outlets that, to him, appear more focused on sensationalism than legitimate scoops. While McCarthy described The Daily Caller as “somewhat qualitatively better” than Breitbart or the Washington Free Beacon, he said all three appear to be trying to mimic the hyper-activity of BuzzFeed while wanting to be “hyper-partisan.”

In an interview with Tucker Carlson, a regular Fox News contributor, the article comments:

“Four years ago, on stage at CPAC, Tucker Carlson told the conservative faithful that right-leaning journalists need to do reporting that meets the standards of The New York Times. “Conservatives need to build institutions that mirror those institutions,” Carlson said. “That’s the truth.”

The truth didn’t go over too well. Some attendees heckled Carlson for suggesting that conservative media, in any way, should follow the Gray Lady’s example.

“I wasn’t talking about thematic accuracy, which the Times lacks,” Carlson said recently at a midtown Manhattan hotel bar, a few hours after finishing guest-hosting duties on “Fox & Friends Weekend.” “I meant, strictly speaking, grammatical accuracy, strictly speaking, factual accuracy.”

Reflecting on his remarks four years earlier, Carlson said that the “essential problem remains.”

The article concludes with a quote from Robert Costa, National Review’s editor of its Washington Office:

“Conservative journalists are recognizing that they have to offer more to readers beyond talking points and columns,” Costa added. “I think that’s the evolution right now — moving toward narrative journalism, investigative journalism. It’s a growing process. There will be some growing pains.”

Growing pains indeed.  Conservatives and the Republican Party in particular have not been served well by lambasters such as Rush Limbaugh, some of the Fox News personalities, and other angry,  hate-filled media types.



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