Making The News: Scott Walker And The Media

Derek Hunter Contributor
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“Are eggs good for you?” What?

If we were having a conversation about cars and I threw out that question, your answer would undoubtedly not be a good one. Why? Because A) it has nothing to do with anything, and B) it’s a stupid question. Yet this is what the media has done to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

A couple of hacks from The Washington Post asked Walker if President Barack Obama is a Christian, as if his opinion on the subject matters. Not being an Obama biographer, Walker said he didn’t know and moved on. It’s not his job to defend or define the faith of anyone else.

He could have just said, “Yes,” and moved on. But such a stupid question, designed to “make news” rather than elicit information from a possible presidential candidate, is the problem with the liberal media today.

It’s not a “gotcha” question, it’s a lazy question. Reporters get story ideas in their heads, then set about trying to find someone to mold that story around. Subjects of stories used to “make news,” now so-called journalists set out to manufacture the news.

How does one man’s opinion of another man’s faith impact anyone’s ability to do a job? It doesn’t. If Walker had simply said yes to a non-sequitur question, the Post would not have had a story. So the question was specifically designed to either allow a specific story the reports who asked it had in mind, or it was going to be forgotten. That’s not journalism, that’s activism.

Had the question come from a Daily Kos blogger, where it belongs, the reaction would not have had the same fervor. But this was The Washington Post, a supposedly respectable news organization. Walker’s answer sent left-wing journalists and pundits into a tizzy, just as it was designed to do.

The same people and organizations that spent as little ink as possible on Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Fast and Furious, the IRS, Benghazi, etc., etc., now find newsworthiness in a question designed to catch the recipient of it off guard.

Perhaps Scott Walker should adopt Hillary Clinton’s style of dealing with the media – simply don’t. But even that wouldn’t work for a Republican. Had Walker walked away, the story would have been “Scott Walker Refuses To Say Whether Or Not Barack Obama Is A Christian,” and the same breathless “think pieces” on how he should have handled the question would have been written, with only slight tweaks.

Republicans are never going to win with the mainstream media, so they shouldn’t bother.

Is Barack Obama a Christian? Who cares? He says he is, and that’s really all we have to go on. If nodding along to Jeremiah Wright’s sermons for 20 years is your vision on of Christianity, then he unquestionably is. If it’s not, again, who cares. He’s president, and his decisions in that office are all that matter.

But the more important question is “Who gives a damn?” He’s president, not Pope. Scott Walker and other Republicans aren’t running to become Pope.

When was the last time Hillary Clinton set foot in a church that didn’t involve a wedding or a funeral? That question won’t be asked, nor should it. What her faith is, if she has any, would be an interesting question should a reporter get close enough to ask it, but it doesn’t matter. That she won’t let anyone close enough to ask her anything is more important.

The media isn’t interested in covering the news; they’re out to make it. Potential Republican candidates need to recognize that either have a “that’s a bullshit question”-esque answer chambered for when they come, or simply ignore them altogether.

Reporters are, at the heart of it, lazy. They get an easy narrative in their heads and try to fit the news into it. If you don’t play along, they will be forced to cover something else, like what a candidate said that matters.

In the last two weeks the media has reported more about Scott Walker’s college years and personal beliefs than we still know about Barack Obama’s. That’s the game, that’s how it works now. The sooner the potential GOP field realizes that and refuses to play along, the better off all involved will be.