For the leftists who claim that conservatives are misguided by assuming a chummy relationship between the mainstream media and the Democratic Party, here’s exhibit A: On Tuesday night, after the announcement was made that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had selected Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield issued a tweet offering reporters covering the Biden campaign a “Virtual high five,” adding, “We did it, guys.”
Bedingfield wrote, “Shoutout to all of our beat reporters for surviving some of the most painful news cycles of any presidential campaign. Virtual high five to all of you. We did it, guys.”
Shoutout to all of our beat reporters for surviving some of the most painful news cycles of any presidential campaign. Virtual high five to all of you. We did it, guys. 🎉
— Kate Bedingfield (@KBeds) August 12, 2020
Curtis Houck of Newsbusters: “High five, comrades!”
"High five, comrades!" https://t.co/3kSaynISQa
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 12, 2020
Andrew Clark, the Rapid Response Director for the Trump 2020 campaign: “The ‘we’ here is quite revealing.”
The "we" here is quite revealing. https://t.co/aBfBAAgfXv
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) August 12, 2020
Nicholas Fondacaro of the Media Research Council and Newsbusters: “When a top Biden campaign staffer openly admits the national press is working for them.”
When a top Biden campaign staffer openly admits the national press is working for them https://t.co/q6Ee11ZeEt
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) August 12, 2020
In late July, Bedingfield, apparently confident that the Trump campaign’s messages will not “work this go-round,” authored a memo in which she stated:
Time after time, Trump’s advisers boast that they are certain the upteenth reboot of their anti-Biden messaging will work this go-round, only to quickly thereafter find themselves on defense, having elevated issues on which Donald Trump’s record is extremely vulnerable. Trump doesn’t have an argument for why he deserves to be reelected, so pouring money into ineffective attacks against his opponent is his only option. In terms Donald Trump understands, it’s the only club he’s got in his bag.
The New York Times reported on August 5, “For months, Mr. Biden has had a far smaller public presence than Mr. Trump, who has restarted his regular press briefings on the coronavirus and whose daily Twitter missives drive cable coverage day after day. Don’t expect that lower-key approach to necessarily change as the election nears, aides suggested.”
Since there is suspicion that the mainstream media is on the side of the Democratic Party, it’s noteworthy that in the Times article, Bedingfield said in reference to blunting Trump’s attacks, “I don’t think that we need to be counterprogramming.”
With the prospect of debates between Trump and Biden, it is instructive to remember the infamous performance of CNN anchor Candy Crowley in a 2012 debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
As National Review noted in February 2013:
Commission on Presidential Debates co-chairman Frank Fahrenkopf told a Las Vegas audience that the commission made a “mistake” in choosing CNN anchor Candy Crowley to moderate a presidential debate last year, according to Jon Ralston. “We made one mistake this time: Her name is Candy,” he said.
Crowley received criticism from conservatives while moderating the second presidential debate, in which she interrupted Mitt Romney to claim that President Obama had called the September 11 attacks in Benghazi “an act of terror.” While both campaigns had agreed that the moderator would refrain from asking questions or participating in the town-hall debate, Politico’s Dylan Byers reported that “Crowley had promised to defy that agreement even before the debate started.”
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