‘A Tale of Two Bill Signings’

Source: RedState

We write a lot here about liberal media bias and for good reasons: because it exists, contra to what leftists and their allies press want you to think. More importantly, it is because such biases in mainstream media reporting not only infect the national debate by telling voters how they should think on any given topic instead of objectively informing the reader/viewer of all available information and allowing them to draw their own conclusions.

We see it literally every day in all kinds of individual stories, particularly as they relate to politics and social/cultural issues. In some cases, the bias is subtle; in others it is overt. But in some cases, it is best explained by comparing and contrasting how the media covers stories about Republicans and Democrats respectively where the surface dynamics are relatively similar.

Take, for instance, President Biden’s bill signing ceremony Tuesday for the bogusly named “Inflation Reduction Act.” As per the norm, the MSM was in full spin mode in how they spiked the ball for Biden, who in the previous week they proclaimed in so many words was back in the game after a so-called “string of wins.”

This ABC News story on the bill signing was emblematic of what we’ve seen from the press so far this week, for reasons explained in a fantastic “tale of two bill signings” thread by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press sec. Bryan Griffin, who pointed out the characterization of the bill signing in the headline as a “major win” and that the subheadline mentioned how the Biden White House would “celebrate” their “political victory”:

After noting that the ABC News piece referred to the legislation by its actual name and credited “the bill for having different objectives” (health, climate, and tax), Griffin pointed to “happy celebrations” photos used from the bill signing in media reports and how the ABC article included quotes from people who supported the bill, no quotes from critics, and used talking points that came directly from the White House.

Contrast that, Griffin suggested, with how the media treated stories about Florida’s parental rights bill, which the media frequently and incorrectly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. This time he pulled from another ABC News piece, this one from the end of March when DeSantis signed the bill.

It was “controversial,” according to the report, and the headline used its critics’ characterization of it (“Don’t Say Gay” bill) as though that was its actual name:

Unlike the photos of happy Democrats used in the Biden bill signing, the photo used in the ABC News piece on DeSantis made him look angry and combative and wasn’t even from the same event:

The piece also gave a generous amount of publishing space to the opinions of its critics, with only a passing nod to its defenders.

I’ve seen these types of scenarios play out so many times that I’ve lost count of how often it happens. This type of “reporting” is so ingrained in newsrooms across the country that they could do it in their sleep. These “news” outlets thrive on making Republicans out to be the bad/evil guys who will ultimately be the downfall of our civilization if they aren’t stopped while portraying Democrats as the principled heroes who are here to save the day.

This is why complaining about mere “coverage” alone doesn’t show the full picture of media bias. A Republican can get loads and loads of coverage, but if the stories about them are framed inaccurately then that coverage could potentially have a damaging effect on that Republican’s credibility in the eyes of voters.

It’s the framing, not coverage alone, that is key in all of this. Reporters know this well, which is why we see their double standards in not just the run-ups to bill signings but the bill signings themselves.

We saw it in Georgia a year and a half ago with the election reform bill Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law. The media opposed it and Democrats opposed it, and that mindset was reflected in every bit of their reporting, including after the bill signing when Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star game out of Georgia after intense pressure on the state from woke leftists like Stacey Abrams and Sen. Raphael Warnock.

Did the media revisit the story and declare themselves wrong once it was discovered that the new law not only did not deter voters from showing up to vote in the primaries but that the turnout shattered previous primary turnout records? Of course, they didn’t, because by that point the narrative had been set and the mission was accomplished. Republicans bad, Democrats good, end of the story.

Except nowadays, people – including Republican politicos – are getting savvier about the MSM’s deliberate machinations, with trust in the institution at an all-time low. Because as it turns out, people don’t like being told what to think and are tired of having their intelligence insulted over and over again.

Related: Former NY Times Editor Blows Lid off Why a GOP Senator’s Op/Ed Never Got Published