Adopting a warped view of the Ukraine collusion scandal that's engulfing Donald Trump's presidency, The New York Times seems to think that it's Democrats who are caught in a “tricky” political position. The coverage highlights how in moments of Republican crisis, the Beltway press remains oddly fixated on how events might go badly for Democrats.
In page-one articles in recent days, the Times stressed that Democrats face “a tricky balancing act” on impeachment, which could “complicate” their 2020 campaigns. They're battling “uncertainty,” a “messaging challenge,” and are preparing “for possible backlash” as House members face voters back home during a congressional recess. That all sounds quite bad, right? (Keep in mind the president facing impeachment is a Republican.)
Note that in the Times’ world view, apparently Republicans don't have to return home to their districts and face uncomfortable questions about impeachment and about a president who's admitted to open colluding with a foreign power in order to dig up dirt on his domestic political rival. This is the same president who has publicly threatened a government whistleblower and warned of a looming “civil war” if he's removed from office. Strange, right? To date, there's been very little Times coverage addressing how a Republican president facing impeachment would “complicate” things for Republican politicians.
Wouldn't the common-sense narrative be that it's Republicans who face an uncertain path as they prepare for a 2020 campaign season that will likely feature an unpopular president facing an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate?
The Times coverage unfolds as poll after poll shows a spike in public support for impeachment, a clear indication that Democrats, for now, are winning the messaging war surrounding impeachment. And that would suggest it's Republicans who face serious political peril surrounding impeachment and the upcoming election season.
- I've started a new media newsletter, Press Run, to help hold the press accountable - February 6, 2020
- 2019, the year the press tried—and failed—to stand up to Trump - December 31, 2019
- Impeachment has been a messaging disaster for the White House. Why won't the press say so? - December 22, 2019
The Politicus is a collaborative political community that facilitates content creation directly on the site. Our goal is to make the political conversation accessible to everyone.Any donations we receive will go into writer outreach. That could be advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit or person-to-person outreach on College campuses. Please help if you can: