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MSNBC ‘essentially’ ran ‘a voter suppression campaign’ against GOP during 2012 presidential election, says author

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Jamie Weinstein
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      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

By tarring conservatives as racist during the 2012 presidential campaign, MSNBC “essentially” mounted “a voter suppression campaign,” says the author of a new book on media bias.

“Some of the quotes I have in ‘Spin Masters’– you might remember them if you watch a lot of MSNBC — still make me cringe,” David Freddoso, author of the recently released book “Spin Masters: How the Media Ignored the Real News and Helped Reelect Barack Obama,” told The Daily Caller.

“For example, Chris Matthews asserting that conservatives were giving Romney a long leash (ideologically speaking) because they are racists, I mean, come on — what kind of political commentary is that? That was essentially a voter suppression campaign, to tar conservatism and shame conservatives out of participating in politics.”

Despite egregious examples like that, Freddoso said most of the anti-Republican bias in the media was not intentional, but rather the product of the “liberal bubble world in which most journalists live — especially in New York and Washington.”

“When you’re a liberal, and 90 percent of your colleagues are liberals, and the only exposure you have to conservative thought is perhaps a few cranky Internet commenters or people who dog you on Twitter, it skews your perception of political opinions — of what’s mainstream and of what real people think about,” he said.

In the near term, the media bias problem faced by conservatives will persist, Freddoso said, so the GOP will have to field smart and persuasive candidates.

“[W]hen you field mush-heads for office, you’re just giving them and the political opposition an opening,” he said.

“There are too many Todd Akins running for office and winning primaries and raising money just by claiming to be the most conservative mush-head. As we saw with Akin, they give an already hostile media further opportunity to attack and to make one man’s stupidity into a viral propaganda campaign that spread to other races as well.

“Republicans have recently tried nominating idiots for office — I mean both establishment idiots and conservative idiots — and it hasn’t worked out very well,” he continued. “It’s one thing to lose a race because you chose a conservative, but you never want to lose because you chose an obvious dim bulb to represent your party.”

Check out TheDC’s full interview with Freddoso about his book and what he sees as the media’s liberal bias below:

Why did you decide to write the book?

I’m always saving and categorizing noteworthy stories I read — essentially taking notes — just in case they prove useful later. In this case, the moment I figured I’d have to write something about media bias came on September 12 or 13. I was sitting next to Washington Examiner writer Phil Klein, who remarked in disbelief that the story about Benghazi — a huge story about Obama over-promising and under-delivering on Middle East policy — was being turned into a story about a Romney gaffe.

I began looking back also at other things I thought had been somewhat ridiculous — the media’s adoption of the phrase “War on Women,” for example, and the bizarre fascination with a contraceptive ban that no one actually seemed to be advocating — and wondered whether there might be enough material for a book. So I didn’t really start writing until after the election, but I had nearly everything outlined.

Did you begin writing before the campaign was over? It came out so fast.

Yeah, no kidding. But when you’re talking about liberal media bias, it pretty much writes itself. Well, now you know how I spent my nights, weekends, and Thanksgiving after the election.

Do you believe the media deliberately sought to help Obama with its coverage — or was it an unintentional bias?

There were a few egregious and deliberate breaches of professionalism in some quarters. Some of the quotes I have in “Spin Masters”– you might remember them if you watch a lot of MSNBC — still make me cringe. For example, Chris Matthews asserting that conservatives were giving Romney a long leash (ideologically speaking) because they are racists, I mean, come on — what kind of political commentary is that? That was essentially a voter suppression campaign, to tar conservatism and shame conservatives out of participating in politics.

But for the most part, no, I don’t think there’s a conscious effort to tilt the news as much as a liberal bubble world in which most journalists live — especially in New York and Washington. When you’re a liberal, and 90 percent of your colleagues are liberals, and the only exposure you have to conservative thought is perhaps a few cranky Internet commenters or people who dog you on Twitter, it skews your perception of political opinions — of what’s mainstream and of what real people think about.