It’s a common refrain from the victor: elections have consequences. The victor then goes on to claim a mandate to do A or Z. It’s par for the course. The real question is whether elections have consequences for the media. As it turns out, the answer appears to be yes.
On a whole host of issues, the mainstream media’s reporting seems to have a bit more balance, at least compared to the pre-election coverage of some of the campaign’s most important issues.
The left will dismiss this as conservative sour grapes, but ask yourself whether you saw, heard or read any pre-election stories about infighting among Democrats? If those stories do exist, they are few and far between and did not receive the attention given to the countless Republican against Republican stories.
Granted, some of this is the natural outgrowth of a grueling Republican primary and President Obama’s role as Party Unifier-in-Chief. Although the Democrats’ party discipline was good, substantial policy differences lurked just beneath the surface. Finally, two weeks after the election, the Washington-based media notices the divisions.
Politico opined, “Republicans may be reeling from their Nov. 6 drubbing, but Democrats have their own internal issues heading into the high-stakes talks — and they’re not insignificant.” On MSNBC, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza characterized congressional Democrats as having a “fractious coalition.”
This critique of the media goes beyond political characterizations, though, and extends into the policy realm. Take the issue of Medicare. Throughout the campaign, Republicans contended Obamacare’s $716 billion in Medicare cuts would hurt seniors because doctors would stop taking Medicare patients.
Fact checkers ridiculed the claim. Take CBS. Not only did they say, “it's not the patients who would lose money. It's the providers,” but they claimed the cuts that were used to fund Obamacare would “actually make Medicare more efficient and extend the life of the program.”
Well guess what? Last week, we learned from Politico (again) that those cuts “have already begun sinking their teeth into health care providers.” The article quotes an insurance executive who explained the cuts, combined with Obamacare’s taxes, “could mean a significant reduction in benefits for seniors.”
How about those fact checks, fellas?
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