Wishing doesn’t make it so …
Barely a ripple … Going into Tuesday’s Texas primaries, the media tried to build up the notion of a Blue Wave crashing upon the Gulf Coast and drowning Texas in a sea of progressive Democratic victories. If there was a wave, it crashed somewhere around the Sigsbee Deep, 200 miles off the coast of Texas. What landed on shore was barely a ripple. But that’s not what the smart journalist set was predicting.
Here are just a few of the articles that talked about the “Blue Wave” over the past few weeks.
- Reid Wilson at The Hill: “Blue wave may be building in Texas”
- Jessica Taylor at NPR: “In Texas primary, early signs of a 2018 Democratic surge”
- Blair Guild at CBS News: “Rep. Beto O’Rourke could mean blue wave hits deep red Texas in Senate race”
- Ryan Sit at Newsweek: “Texas Democrats are outpacing Republicans in early voting and the GOP is sounding ‘Blue Wave’ alarms”
Most of these predictions relied on early voting returns at the Texas secretary of state’s office. But they were written by people who don’t understand Texas or didn’t understand the data they were looking at. Chris Wilson, an alum of the Ted Cruz for President campaign, set those media folks straight in a tweet.
Turns out GOP cast over 800k early votes compared to 562 for Dems in Texas. Why so different than early reports? Those reports were only from top 15 counties. As predicted, that’s what happens when the other 239 counties come in #txlege #TXSen
— Chris Wilson (@WilsonWPA) March 7, 2018
The entire narrative was built upon a false premise and incomplete data. But that incomplete data fit the narrative the Acela corridor folks wanted, so they ran with it. The problem with that is, much like the erroneous reporting on the tax cuts, when the actual event happens, those same pundits are stuck looking aimlessly into their double soy lattes wondering how the rubes in flyover country could be so gullible.
For the record, yes, Democratic turnout was the highest it has been since 2002, but GOP turnout was the highest on record, surpassing the Tea Party wave of 2010.
They don’t like it … What struck me most about the mainstream media reporting on Texas was this headline in the New York Times, “Texas Democrats Surge to Polls, in Show of Anti-Trump Sentiment.” Well, that’s one way to spin it, when the title just as easily could have been, “GOP turnout surpasses 2010 Tea Party wave.”
The article blames the fact that Texas is more Republican on the party’s “rural strength.” The reader comes away feeling that the writer just dismisses that “rural” people are really even people.
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Interesting … Farhad Manjoo, a California-based writer for the New York Times, decided that in 2018 he would not rely on Twitter, Facebook, or other online news sources but instead get news only from traditional newspapers. He writes about his experience in today’s Times. It’s an interesting look at how we all get caught up in the moment and the tabloidization of news. I will selfishly note, however, that he still reads his daily email newsletters. It’s a very interesting read and well worth the time.
Exactly … Ned Ryun, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, writes in The Hill: “The American people aren’t picking up what the mainstream media is putting down.” Ryun’s thesis is that on issue after issue, the media is focusing on things the American people don’t care about. His main point is the “Russia” narrative. Nothing proves Ryun’s point more than what happened yesterday in Texas.
Cillizza roasted … It wasn’t even fair. CNN’s Chris Cillizza just got a dressing-down by Soledad O’Brien over a column he penned likening the Trump administration to a reality show. When a whiny Cillizza, obviously looking for O’Brien’s validation, asked what exactly was wrong with the column, O’Brien tweeted in response:
It's not accurate. It's not funny. It's not clever. It's not analysis. It's facile. It shows an actual lack of understanding of reality tv (can't believe I'm typing that). It's mediocre. It's a time when viewers need to understand what's going on at the highest levels of govt.
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) March 7, 2018
Maybe Soledad has been reading WTF MSM!?
Remaking shorelines since 2017 …
I was looking back in the WTF MSM!? archives this past week, and the newsletter has been crashing into inboxes and remaking shorelines for almost a year. Thanks for helping continue the growth of WTF MSM!? If you want to spread the word even further, don’t forget to send your friends, or even your enemies, over to the WTF MSM!? signup page and ask them to fill out the form. Also remember to email me at [email protected] with story ideas and things you’ve seen the MSM do that make you scream WTF!
Author: Rob Eno
Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.