The blame-the-conservative-media fallacy

Even if the conservative media was an impediment to Romney’s campaign, the conservative media is just one part of the entire media landscape. And as Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, acknowledged in a Sept. 30 appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” most media outlets lean to the left.

“I think it kind of goes without saying that there is definitely a media bias,” Ryan said. “Look, I’m a conservative, Chris. I’m used to media bias. We expected media bias going into this. That’s why we’re trying to cut through and go straight to people. That’s why when in Washington you hear people complain about media bias, come out into these states with us and attend our town hall meetings.”

Yet, there are no books blaming NBC “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams for Romney’s loss, nor any BuzzFeed hit pieces headlined “How the media lost Romney the election.” Given the choice, the Romney campaign would have much preferred Fox News over the mainstream media.

Of course, most journalists would argue accusations of bias come with the job — at least that’s their reasoning for being tough on a candidate whose views are different from theirs. That’s part of our American system. But why is the conservative media expecting the GOP presidential candidate to have a conservative position on immigration any different from the liberal media expecting the Democratic candidate to have a liberal position on immigration?

The reason is simple: To the sort of reporter who says things like “there’s a 40 percent chance that [Mitt Romney] says something stupid” while covering a campaign rally, the very idea of a conservative media is repulsive.

If anything, this phenomenon is instructive. At least we now are aware of what some see as the role of the media: winning elections.

Jeff Poor covers the media for The Daily Caller. Follow Jeff on Twitter.