Sunday morning shows need to ban Republicans who won't admit Biden won
Playing footsies with autocrats
If you’ve been enjoying ad-free PRESS RUN since its launch, or have recently become a reader, please consider subscribing for $6 a month. Thanks!
Just ten percent of Congressional Republicans will acknowledge Joe Biden won the election last month, according to a new tally by the Washington Post. That means just 10 percent of Congressional Republicans should be invited by television news producers to appear on Sunday morning programs to discuss the day's events. By continuing to welcome Republican election deniers on TV and treating their comments as serious and mainstream, the press is doing damage to election integrity, just as Trump loyalists are doing damage.
At this point, it doesn't matter if Sunday morning hosts push back on Republicans who refuse to recognize Biden's victory, whose margin now stands at seven million votes. Simply by engaging election deniers and giving them a national platform, the Sunday programs are doing the GOP bidding in its attempt to sow doubts about our democratic process.
We saw the absurdity of this play out yesterday on ABC's "This Week," where Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) refused to concede Biden's victory, and talked in circles for six minutes about the need to investigate Trump claims of fraud, even though the Trump campaign has lost nearly 50 court cases where they have claimed voter fraud.
"Well, we've got a process and I think we have been going through it since the election, and it's going to play itself out," said Braun, while playing dumb on a massive scale about what's actually transpired over the last month, including the fact Trump's own Department of Justice concluded there was no meaningful fraud in the vote count this year. ABC promoted Braun's appearance as a chance to discuss pending Covid-19 relief legislation in Congress, but Braun's entire interview consisted of his election denier comments, which included debunked conspiracy theories, and Covid relief was never discussed.
A week ago Sunday, on CNN's "State of the Union," Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) danced around the obvious, insisting “The president-elect will be the president-elect when the electors vote for him. There is no official job of president-elect." This is absurd. President-elects have been acknowledged instantly, by both parties, throughout modern American history. Promoting Trump's lies, Republicans now insists election winners are unknowable until mid-December when the electors are selected by the states.
Two weeks ago On "Meet the Press, " Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) flat out said "No," when asked if Biden had won. Cramer then used his election denier appearance to spread ridiculous conspiracy theories about how the Obama administration was caught “spying” on the Trump campaign, and that the Mueller investigation found “no evidence” of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.
This is dangerous, corrosive stuff that Republicans are peddling, feeding to Trump's delusional base, and the press should refuse to play any role in the GOP's attempt to denigrate the election process under the phony guise of 'debate.'
Writing last week in the Post, media critic Matt Negrin noted, "Whenever Republicans appear on a news show, the first question to them must be: “Do you acknowledge that Biden won the election and that he is president-elect?” If the Republican politician doesn’t say yes, they’ve failed the test and are at risk of spreading disinformation. The host of the show has an obligation to viewers to stop the interview there and say goodbye."
Now that we know just ten percent of Republicans acknowledge Biden is president-elect, the task is even easier for Sunday morning show producers — don't bother extending invitations to the GOP deniers in the first place.
This idea of banning public officials from news forums based on their outrageous views isn't as radical as it seems. There's precedent for mainstream news organizations to cut off access to experts and officials whose views do damage to our public discourse and democracy. Years ago, newspaper and television news would regularly quote climate deniers while presenting to news consumers the idea that there was a "debate" about whether humans are accelerating climate change, and if the crisis is even real. Over time, as the scientific evidence became overwhelming and global conditions rapidly got worse, news outlets realized the folly — and the danger — of treating partisan, conservative climate deniers as serious people, and made a conscious effort to exclude them from coverage.
"As climate change is accepted as happening, you do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate," the BCC instructed staffers in 2018. "You do not need to include outright deniers of climate change in BBC coverage, in the same way you would not have someone denying that Manchester United won 2-0 last Saturday."
The same is true of election deniers. Yet the media continue to cater to their dangerous, corrosive behavior, the likes of which we've never seen before in American politics. One CNN report recently suggested Republicans had “no choice” but to back Trump’s election sabotage. Politico dismissed Trump’s ongoing rampage as nothing more than “performance art” and “bad sportsmanship.” Elsewhere, the New York Times cast a sympathetic eye on Republicans state officials who supposedly faced the tough “choice” of certifying verified voting results, or helping Trump cast doubt on them as he tries to overturn an election.
For a month now, the Beltway press has largely treated the GOP's enabling of Trump as a tricky political dance they're reluctantly undertaking. Leaders of the GOP don't deserve any media sympathy while they stand idly by and watch Trump wage war on free and fair elections in America. They also don't deserve to be ushered onto Sunday morning TV shows to push election lies.
😏 GOOD STUFF:
Well that didn't take long. From CNN's Sunday report, "Biden's Already More Popular Than Trump's Ever Been":
Biden being more popular than unpopular isn't abnormal. What was abnormal was that Trump was elected, despite being so unpopular. Perhaps even more unusual is that he could never get above 50% during his presidency, which is unheard of in modern American politics.
🎸 FUN STUFF — BECAUSE WE ALL NEED A BREAK
Ed Prosek & The Mayries, "4 am"
Gorgeous three-part harmonies, swelling pop orchestration, and a plaintive tale of missed chances. "4 am" has it all.
"4 AM is a song about the ups and downs of true love. Movies always end with a “happily ever after” but everyone knows life is more complicated than that," Prosek recently explained. "All the unfulfilled dreams and unresolved baggage are what keep life interesting and this song is dedicated to the true love that outlasts it all."
Baby, I'm tired of waiting up all night like this
'Cause it's 4am and I ain't slept a wink in days
And I promise I'll be ready to forgive you
When you get back homе