The media’s sense of entitlement is really something to behold whenever they feel like they aren’t getting their due. The most recent example of this phenomenon has been the media’s reaction to Joni Ernst’s decision to skip meetings with three editorial board meetings, including one with the Des Moines Register, last week. The media, predictably, is up in arms over the gall of Ernst in skipping their gatekeeping function, leading the media to declare that Ernst is unfit for office. Predictably, Ernst has responded that she sees no value added in wasting her time kowtowing to people who aren’t going to endorse her anyway.
In an ideal world, candidates would fairly pay a dear price for dodging the media and would accept responsibility if they got tripped up. But an ideal world assumes a world in which the media operates with equivalent good faith towards Republicans and Democrats. This is not an accurate description of the world we live in. I’ve yet to see a systematic analysis of editorial board endorsements (for primary newspapers) across America but they tilt so overwhelmingly Democratic that when one endorses a Republican, as the Denver Post did for Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Cory GardnerHouse Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard57% a couple weeks ago, it is a major news event that provokes outrage and howling from entitled Democrats.
So in the real world as opposed to the ideal one, Republicans would not offer the media an opportunity to trip them up while attempting to garner an endorsement they’re almost certain not to get. In terms of cost-benefit analysis, the decision to not open yourself up to questions from most newspaper editorial boards is a no-brainer for Republicans. And if these newspapers want Republicans to come and kowtow before them and possibly give them a juicy attack soundbite, they should perhaps let their endorsement record more closely resemble the voting patterns of the American public at large or at least their reading constituency, rather than the comments section at DailyKos.
Republicans shouldn’t skip meetings with the editorial boards of fair newspapers, if any existed. But they should definitely skip open question sessions with propaganda outlets for their opponents. Not only do I not criticize Joni Ernst for skipping this meeting, I hope it starts a trend.